After you’ve scheduled your first appointment, you may be wondering “what next?”
While not all acupuncturists practice exactly the same, generally you are going to keep the following in mind.
Paperwork & Imaging:
We send out a secure link via email for you to fill out your intake paperwork. This will include your contact information, chief complaint, list of current medications, and your medical history. Our practitioners like to have a chance to read this before your initial consultation, so please try and complete it the day before your appointment if possible.
If you are seeking treatment for something that you’ve had any labs or imaging done on, please feel free to email them to us at email@example.com the day of your appointment – or you can bring copies of the reports in with you. While Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on practices 1000’s of years old, many practitioners will incorporate present-day testing into their evaluations.
Make sure to bring a form of ID, and any other relevant information.
Make Sure to Eat Before Hand
It’s important that you’ve eaten before your treatment, even if it’s just a small snack or a meal a few hours before. This is because acupuncture can mildly lower blood glucose levels, and not eating increases the risk for dizziness after treatment.
It is also important that you come in sober – a drink with lunch is nice, but it will change both your presentation (and thus diagnosis) as well as the effectiveness of your treatment. This goes for pretty much anything that is not prescribed or directed by your doctor or other licensed health professional.
Wear Loose/Comfortable Clothing
Depending on what you are seeking treatment for, we try to leave on as much of your clothing as possible. Try to choose pants that can be easily pulled above the knee, and shirts/undershirts that expose as much of your neck/shoulders/arms as possible.
If loose clothing is not an option for any reason (such as coming from work), do not worry! This is perfectly fine. We will have you either wear a gown or cover up with a sheet.
Plan to Take It Easy After your Treatment
Everyone reacts differently to acupuncture, and typically results are much improved if you have an easier day after treatment. We understand that life is unavoidable and some things will just have to get done, but do your best not to do anything extra after your treatment (like go to the gym). You deserve an afternoon off!
Also plan to drink lots of water. Acupuncture can get things circulating, and staying hydrated goes a very long way.
What to Expect
At Your First Visit:
When you arrive, you will check in at the front desk. They will check your paperwork and ensure everything is filled out correctly. The Front Desk may also give you any other forms that need to be signed.
We will then take you back into the treatment room, and the doctor will come in & discuss your symptoms to evaluate what is going on. This may or may not include some observation or orthopedic tests, depending on what you are having treated.
Based on your evaluation, the Acupuncturist will design a treatment for you. Often, this will include some points on the hands & feet, as well as on the local/affected area. For some treatments, the Acupuncturist may also choose to utilize the ears to help balance the body’s symptoms.
Once the needles are in, you will typically spend about 20-30 minutes resting on the table. Some treatments will include additional therapies, such as cupping, gua sha, tui na, e-stim, etc. The Acupuncturist will explain any additional therapies if you need them. Often, you will have the option of a heat lamp to stay comfortable during the treatment.
Herbal Consults can be done with or without acupuncture. Based on your evaluation, the doctor will put together a prescription for you. This could be a simple patent pill that is ready to go, a custom granular formula, or a tea made from raw herbs. Depending on what is best for you, our practitioners will let you know what formula is appropriate.