What to Expect - Acupuncture & TCM
In preparation for your visit please remember to:
Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing as it allows easy access to the acupuncture points. Many of the points commonly used are located below the elbows and below the knees. You will be more comfortable in clothing that can be easily rolled up to the elbows and knees so circulation is not restricted.
In consideration of others please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, or strongly scented oils and lotions.
Make a list of topics you want to discuss and any questions you have for the practitioner. When thinking about your chief complaint try to answer the following questions and be as specific as possible:
When did this condition start?
How often does it occur?
What symptoms are involved with this condition?
What makes the condition better? What makes it worse?
What time of day does your condition bother you the most?
Be sure to eat a meal a couple of hours before your visit. You should not receive acupuncture when you’re hungry as it increases the chance of dizziness and nausea following treatment.
Avoid consuming alcohol and recreational drugs for at least 24 hours before your treatment. Acupuncture is not performed on intoxicated individuals due to an increased risk of shock.
Bring the following items with you:
A list, including dosage, of all current medications, supplements, vitamins, and minerals you are currently taking
The name & contact information of your Primary Care Physician
Copies of any lab or medical reports relevant to your chief complaint
Your Initial Treatment
Your initial treatment will take approximately 1 hour so please plan accordingly. During this first visit your medical history will be reviewed in detail and several questions will be asked surrounding your chief complaint, diet, lifestyle, and emotional state. Many of the questions may not seem relevant to your condition; however, this information is very useful in helping the practitioner develop a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If a question makes you feel uneasy or embarrassed, inform the practitioner and she will explain how the question relates to your condition.
During Your Treatment
After all of the needles are in place the practitioner will leave the room and you will be allowed to rest for 20-30 minutes depending on your condition. Soft, relaxing music will be played and the lights will be turned off or dimmed. Try not to move or make sudden changes in your position as this may have an effect on the position of the needle. If you are uncomfortable or feel the need to move ask the practitioner for assistance. Other than that just relax and breathe! 🙂
After Your Acupuncture Treatment
Everyone responds to acupuncture differently so while most patients feel relaxed and perhaps a little sleepy, others feel energized. Some patients experience immediate relief while others may not notice any changes in their condition until the next or even a few days after treatment. Observe how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally until your next treatment. Take note of any changes in your condition and be sure to bring your notes with you to your next visit. Follow-up visits will last approximately 45-60 minutes so please plan accordingly.
After your visit please remember to:
Avoid strenuous activity and try to rest as much as possible so that your body can experience the maximum benefits of treatment. Mild exercise such as tai chi, gentle yoga, and walking are okay.
Continue taking all of your prescription drugs as directed by your primary care physician or other healthcare providers.
If you were given a Chinese herbal formula please take your herbs as prescribed by the acupuncturist. Remember to separate the consumption of your herbal formula and prescription drugs by at least 2 hours.
Avoid consuming alcohol and recreational drugs for at least 24 hours after your treatment.
If you were given a homework assignment during your visit please complete your homework to the best of your ability. Write down any questions you have for the acupuncturist and be sure to bring your homework assignment and questions with you to your next visit.
Observe how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally until the next treatment. Take note of any changes in your condition and be sure to bring your notes with you to your next visit.
Feel free to give us a call at 843-735-9675 if you have any questions about how to prepare for your first visit.