by Meagan Duggan Bretz

June 8, 2019

We’re excited to hear that you’re interested in acupuncture! Read more on what to expect for your first visit to the clinic.

We’re very excited to hear that you’re interested in seeking out acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to improve your condition and achieve your health goals. Now that you’ve made this decision you might be wondering what to expect. This article will give you an idea of what to expect when you visit our clinic, how often you may need to come in, and how we decide the length of your care.

The first in person visit:

When you arrive at Asian Healing Traditions you will find a quiet, warming atmosphere. Our receptionists will greet you and offer you hot tea and answer any questions you may have thus far. Both of our receptionists are knowledgeable on the basics of acupuncture, but they will direct any specific questions to your practitioner.

We start all new patients with a telehealth appointment, which allows your practitioner the time to prepare a treatment strategy for your first visit. In Chinese Medicine, we look at the whole body to help us diagnose what the core issue is so that we can provide a thoughtful and effective course of treatment. Everything is connected in the body, especially when it comes to our acupuncture meridians, so we may ask questions regarding your digestive health even though you may be coming in for insomnia, for example. When you arrive at AHT, your acupuncturist will take you to a treatment room where we will go over any unanswered questions from the telehealth, etc. During your appointment we may also feel your pulses and look at your tongue. Both your tongue and pulse can be used as diagnostic tools and help guide us to the correct diagnosis. Observing the tongue without it being brushed is best, so please refrain from brushing it the day of your appointment.

After your brief intake, we will continue on to the treatment. While it is most convenient if you wear loose, comfortable clothing we can easily accommodate with whatever clothing you arrive in. We use comfortable, clean sheets for each patient so we can have you remove appropriate clothing items and cover you with a sheet if necessary. We use one-time use, stainless steel, sterile acupuncture needles each treatment, so no need to worry about the cleanliness of the supplies! The most common question we receive is “Does it hurt?”. We can honestly reply that it typically does not, however everyone has a different sensitivity level so the needles maybe more sensitive to one person versus another. If at any point a needle site is feeling sharp or uncomfortable we ask that you tell us so that we can adjust the needle for you. Your treatment should be as comfortable as possible, so please mention any concerns or discomforts you may be experiencing during treatment. After we finish needling, you will rest with the needles in for 15-30 min, depending on what we are treating. Lastly, we let you rest with a call button in your hand so that you always have access to your practitioner, even when we aren’t physically in the room with you.

After your treatment ends, we will give you a recommended treatment frequency. It is often difficult to know how long we may need to see you, so we can make a better estimate after a couple of follow up sessions when we have seen the progress thus far. Each patient may receive a different recommendation, but a typical plan consists of weekly treatments for 3-5 weeks. After this time period we can usually tell if acupuncture is going to be helpful for you, or if we need to adjust our treatment strategy. If you are seeking treatment for an acute condition, we may recommend seeing you twice a week for a couple of weeks; for chronic conditions we recommend weekly treatments for several months.

In addition to acupuncture, we also may suggest adding in cupping (using suction to promote blood flow and remove stagnation in muscles and fascia), guasha (scraping technique that provides similar results as cupping), moxibustion (mugwort heat therapy to warm meridians, joints, etc), or Chinese herbs (granule, tincture or pill form) to our treatment plan. Of these modalities, the only one that is an extra cost to your treatment are the Chinese herbal formulas. These can range from $20-$50 depending on the size and form of the herbs used in your formula.

We hope that this article as provided some answers to questions that you may have about starting acupuncture treatments. If you have any additional questions, please contact the clinic at (734) 707-8890 or email us at [email protected].

We look forward to meeting you at the clinic!