First of all, know that when you schedule a treatment with me, your health and well being are my number one priority!
When you schedule acupuncture, this is what a typical session with me is like.
Before you even arrive for your first session, I will have done some research and put together some preliminary ideas of where I might best serve you. These are not hard plans, but rather give me a starting point based on the conversation we had when you set up the appointment. It will allow us to more effectively use the time we have together. I will adjust based on our face to face visit.
When you arrive for your session, we will spend about 5-15 minutes talking about your needs depending if it is your first visit or a follow up visit. This allows me to customize each session to what is happening with you in the moment, and adjust as you and your goals change. This also allows us plenty of time to get into the actual treatment so you have a full treatment time. Generally, first visits take around 75-90 minutes. Follow up visits take about 60-75 minutes.
Once we've had time to check in, we will move to my treatment room space. To start the acupuncture session, I will check your pulse and look at your tongue. These two diagnostic techniques help me to confirm or shift what I am thinking from a treatment perspective. The pulse tells me more about what the state of things are in your systems at this point in time. The tongue tells me more about how things are for you over the long term. Together, they provide a lot of information to what you've already mentioned to me.
After this is done, I will help you get comfortable on the table for your acupuncture treatment. If you are wearing loose fitting clothing, most of the time, I can do treatment without you needing to take off any clothes. In some cases, like with back treatments, you will need to undress and lay face down on the table. We will discuss all of this before your acupuncture treatment begins.
Once you are set up, I will gently and skillfully insert needles into the points I've selected based on your condition. Generally, I use somewhere between 10-18 needles. I try to use as few as possible to achieve results. In acupuncture, more needles isn't necessarily better. As I insert needles, we will be in constant communication. The insertion of needles should not hurt. You might feel a small prick or sensations of heaviness, achiness, or cool or warmth move through you. These are all to be expected. Don't worry, I will coach you all the way through, and we will adjust any time there is a need. It is important that you are comfortable and relaxed for the best results of treatment. I do everything I can to make sure that you are. Once the needles are inserted, you get a little acupuncture nap. NOTE: Sometimes, a session may need other tools in my kit (ex. cupping, gua sha, tuina, electro-stimulation, etc.) These are determined on a case by case basis, and not necessarily used in every treatment.
During your acupuncture nap, I will leave the room so you have no distractions. Depending on your condition and if I use other tools in my kit, you will rest on the table with soothing music, possibly heat lamps and calm atmosphere for about 20-30 minutes. I may have another patient while you are resting. However, should you need assistance during that time, I am always available. After time has passed, I will remove the needles, do a few hands on techniques to help you ground and adjust. Then your session will be over. I will leave the room so you can get dressed. You will meet me out front to pay and schedule your next appointment.
In most cases, I recommend you commit to a full course of treatment for best results, regardless of the condition. A full course of treatment is 10 sessions after the initial new patient visit. Typically, I try to see my patients once a week for 4-6 weeks to build up their body's natural ability to heal and self regulate. Then, I begin to stretch treatments out to every other week to see if the body is strong enough to hold the treatment through the demands of life. If this proves successful after a few treatments, I then move my patients into the maintenance period where we meet once every 4-6 weeks to continue to remind and support the body how to remain healthy and well. My goal is to get you into the maintenance category as quickly as possible as that means you are once again in balance.
That said, every condition is different. There are so many factors that can shift this time line. Many people choose acupuncture as a last resort when nothing else has worked which means they have had a condition for years. Conditions that have gone one for years take longer. Age matters. The patient's willingness to make lifestyle modifications matter. The better we can communicate and the more willing a patient is to do their homework, the quicker healing and balance occur. I recommend that patients see me as soon as possible when they realize something is "off" or if pain occurs.
Acupuncture can help with many conditions. I am happy to work with anyone, and make referrals when necessary. That said, I have had some great success in helping with:
chronic back pain (low back, upper back, neck and shoulders)
migraines and recurrent headaches
menstrual pain and women's health issues
anxiety and depression
addiction recovery support
sleep issues (insomnia, not enough energy, tiredness)
digestive health issues (IBS, constipation, bloating, etc)
respiratory health issues (restricted breathing, colds, asthma, etc.)
Are you ready to see if acupuncture can help you? If you would like to schedule an appointment with me, I'd be honored to be part of your wellness team.