Before your first acupuncture session there are several things you should bear in mind:
Many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is helpful to wear clothing that allows easy access to these areas. Try not to go for treatment on an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal. Do let your practitioner know if you are completely new to acupuncture so they can take extra time to explain what happens and ensure you are comfortable with the process. Your first consultation: During your first visit, your BAcC acupuncturist needs to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint and your general health and lifestyle. This involves asking questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, and your emotional wellbeing. Women are also asked about their menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth. You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps your practitioner to form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle.
Your acupuncturist will also take your pulse on both wrists and may examine your tongue and feel for areas of muscular tension or pain.
Your main health complaint:
When talking about your main complaint, the practitioner might ask you to describe in your own words what the symptoms feel like and how severe they are. You may also be asked how long you have been having the symptoms, whether they are constant or intermittent and how frequent they are. You should mention any medication that you are taking and whether you have tried any other therapies.
In order to make a diagnosis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and to find the right treatment approach, the practitioner will also want to know more specific details.
ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT
To experience a sustained positive outcome from acupuncture treatment, it is often (but not always) advisable to attend a course of ten separate sessions.
At the beginning of treatment, it may be advisable to attend weekly visits, creating a good momentum for moving the Qi and facilitating change. Following this, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly treatments may be beneficial depending on the depth of the condition to be addressed.
An initial consultation usually lasts from one and a half, up to two hours. During this time questions are asked to ascertain the main complaint, current state of overall health, full medical history and any family predispositions and in most cases, an initial treatment will be performed. Subsequent appointments last for 45 minutes, consisting of a brief consultation and follow-up treatment.