Your First Visit
If you haven’t had an acupuncture treatment before, making that first appointment can be daunting.
What you can expect with your first visit…
Prior to your appointment with us, you’ll be sent a detailed questionnaire going through your previous history and goals for your health.
When you arrive, you’ll be offered water and shown into a comfortable clinic room with a massage table, air conditioning/heating, heat lamp, sink and acupuncture equipment. You’ll be offered somewhere to place your personal belongings and asked to turn your phone off or on flight mode and take off your jewellery (watches and bangles usually sit where common acupuncture points are located).
I will then spend around an hour going through your case history – current history, previous history, menstrual history and all current health complaints. The goal of this time is to learn as much about you as possible to diagnose a Chinese medicine pattern that will direct my treatment.
After I have a good understanding of your pattern from the ‘questioning’ part of the appointment, I then like to confirm the pattern with some feedback from your body. I then ask you to lie face up on the massage table and ask to have access to your abdomen, hands, feet and head.
After getting your consent, I palpate your abdomen, check for tender points and temperature differences on the abdomen, hands and feet, note any location of fluid accumulation, changes in skin colour and moisture, take your pulses, look at your tongue and write down all my findings.
I will then discuss with you the findings and what they mean – from a Chinese medicine and a Western medicine point of view, talk about some of the diet and lifestyle changes you can make to support your pattern to help with your acupuncture treatment.
Once you’ve had the opportunity to ask questions, I then start your treatment. I will tell you where I’d like to place needles, and explain to you the sensations you could feel. I might do some moxibustion treatment depending on what I’m treating. I may also do some cupping too if you’re ok with that. You will notice I keep checking in with your pulses – this is because they provide immediate feedback after placing a needle and will help me direct treatment.
Once all the needles are in, I then place a heat lamp over your abdomen or feet, drape the towels so you’re comfortable, turn off the lights and leave the room for 20-30 min.
When I come back, I take the needles out, remove the heat lamp and often put an ear point in to keep you calm for the following week if you’re ok with that. I ask you if you have any questions. We go through those. Then I will leave the room for you to get dressed and greet you back out in reception with some water and written information with your treatment plan and things we discussed relating to diet and lifestyle.
Ta da! First treatment completed. Most people find that they relax more than they thought and that any worries they had about the needles was much worse than anything they actually experience.