What to expect
You’re on this page to find out what to expect on your first visit. This is important, especially if you haven’t had acupuncture before.
- If you don’t like needles or are nervous on your first visit we can start with a needle-free method. However, it must be noted that for most adults this method will not be as effective as using needles in gaining the desired response.
- For children under 12 years old I generally use the Japanese Shonishin technique – a needle-free technique specifically for treating children, requiring contact the child’s skin using a flat tool – therefore the child will need to wear loose-fitting clothing so that I can gain access underneath it without removing it. Parent/guardian is present at all times and the visit usually takes no more than a half an hour – though may be longer on first visit.
- We’ll sit down and go through your patient questionnaire. You’ll be asked further questions. I may take your blood pressure, look at your tongue and feel your pulse on both wrists – these are further diagnostic tools. I will then review all of your information to develop your treatment plan.
Adults will likely be fully clothed at all times. Usually you will need to be able to pull up your sleeves to just above your elbows; and your trousers to just above your knees. If you need to remove clothing you will have privacy to do so and blankets are provided for your comfort. Shorts/tracksuits and short sleeved t-shirts are ideal, but not necessary. There are occasions that access to the back or abdomen might be necessary.
- Ensure that you have eaten a light snack before coming, as you may feel light-headed if you receive acupuncture on an empty stomach.
- The needles will usually be left in place for approx. 30 minutes while you relax. Patients tend to find it so relaxing that many will often fall asleep.
- The condition of your health at the outset will determine how many visits are required in order for you to achieve your health goals. Your first treatment will also include a naturopathic consultation, where you will receive information specific to you regarding diet, lifestyle and recommended supplements. Following supplement and lifestyle advice is key to accelerating recovery and thereby reducing the number of visits required.
So, a few points to remember:
Acupuncture is a therapy which promotes normal physiology – where your system is balanced. It is like a software update, triggering self-healing. Long term medications, especially steroids, inhibit normal physiology. Therefore, it is important to make a note of all your current medications on your intake form, including supplements.
Acupuncture is a therapy which requires a course of treatments and commitment to those treatments. You do not take antibiotics randomly, there is a cumulative effect, one pill may start the healing process but is not enough to do the full job. My goal is to return you to a healthy state of being, where symptoms don’t return. Your body has work to do to reclaim and sustain health. Length of treatment required will be discussed with you having reviewed your intake form and assessed your current state of health.
You will likely receive diet and lifestyle advice, which will help you make a speedier recovery/improvement and will benefit you into your future.
The needles used are hair-thin, single-use, sterile and disposable. They are not hollow needles used for injections and drawing blood, they are much thinner. You may feel a slight sensation on insertion, some people don’t even notice the needles going in. Even when you do feel a sensation it settles down quickly.
Please allow 90 minutes for the first appointment as there may be a lot of questions and information to cover. Subsequent appointments are approx. 50 minutes, though times can vary.
Note: When patients reach their health goal they usually continue with maintenance care, having a treatment every 4-6 weeks, like getting your hair cut. Others may request to be put on a list to receive a reminder to be recalled 4 times per year for a seasonal balance to maintain their health (Feb, May, Aug, & Nov). This regular care is preventative maintenance.