Prepare for your First Visit

We request you bring the following to your first appointment:

  • Complete the Intake Form that can be downloaded HERE.
  • Bring a list of current medications you are taking, including any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
  • Also bring any lab or medical reports relevant to your condition.

To enhance the value of therapy the following are important:

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing as acupuncture points are located all over the body. You will be more comfortable if your clothing can be easily rolled up to your elbows and knees.
  • Do not use perfume prior to treatment.
  • Continue prescription medication exactly as directed by your personal physician.
  • Do not rush to your appointment – better to be a few minutes late than to elevate your pulse rate and blood pressure.
  • Avoid intense physical activity before or after your scheduled treatment. Plan your activities so that after treatment you can get some rest and thus allow your body to gain the maximum benefit.
  • Avoid heavy or large meals prior to and immediately after treatment. Also avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol during the day of treatment.
  • If you bathe or shower after treatment, use comfortably warm water; avoid hot or cold.
  • Report any changes in physical or emotional patterns that occur between treatment sessions. Such detail is valuable in planning the course of treatment.

The Initial Assessment

Your first visit will begin with an in-depth assessment of your condition and an initial treatment. The intake and treatment may take up to two hours.  Typical follow-up treatments last approximately 45-50 minutes.

During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Chinese medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment.

Actual Treatment

I will gently insert needles, 2-3 hairs in width, at specific points along the meridians in your body. They are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposed of after a single use.  Needles are inserted an average depth of ¼ inch and do not contain any substances or medication. They are typically retained for about 30 minutes while you relax or meditate.  Many people even fall asleep during treatment.  

I include as part of my treatment options cupping, gua sha, use of magnets, and occasionally essential oils.  I recommend other complimentary treatments when they seem appropriate like Zero Balancing, Qi Gong or Tai Chi, chiropractic or massage.

What you can expect after Treatment

Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies.

On rare occasions, one’s original symptoms may briefly get worse, or “flare-up,” after a treatment. This will generally last for 24-48 hrs.  After a flare-up, your symptoms should begin to improve. In the long run, acupuncture does not make symptoms worse.