For those who have never received acupuncture, the idea of putting needles into the body may seem strange. However, most people find the experience very relaxing, and don't mind the needle insertion. Many fall asleep. All needles are sterile and one-time use.
The Tongue and Pulse
According to TCM, both the observation of the tongue and palpation of the radial (wrist) pulse provide insight to the functioning of the internal organs. Your tongue will be observed for color, shape, demarcations, coating, and moisture. Similarly, 3 fingers will be placed on each wrist to detect your pulse's strength, depth, rate, and overall quality. Again, these pieces of data relay information in a micro/macrocosm portrayal of the functioning of your internal organs.
What to Wear / Eat / Etc.
Please wear relatively loose-fitting clothes. Pants should comfortably roll up to the knees, and shirt sleeves up to the elbows. Exam gowns are provided when necessary. You should eat 30 - 90 minutes prior to coming. You should not be full from a meal, intoxicated, or have had recent sexual intercourse. Please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes, and fragrances as other patients may be sensitive to the scent.
One difference between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and modern Western medicine is the different questions that are asked during the initial and follow-up intakes. Inquiries into body systems that may seem unrelated to your current symptoms are included because they provide information about your constitutional tendencies and presenting patterns.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The answer is determined by several factors including how long your condition has been present, your overall health and strength, and your compliance with suggested therapies. An average course of treatment is 3-6 sessions over 3-6 weeks, at a frequency of 1-2 treatments per week. For seasonal tune-ups and easier to treat conditions, this course of treatment may be sufficient. For chronic illness and difficult to treat conditions, additional courses of treatment may be recommended. Patients should be able to feel the effects of Chinese Medicine after the initial course of treatment, after which a subsequent treatment plan may be discussed and determined.