A treatment begins with an interview in which the practitioner will ask details about what you are looking to treat as well as other aspects of your health history. They will want to know things like how you sleep, what your stress level is like, what kinds of foods you eat, and how your energy levels are. Some of these questions may seem unrelated to your condition but keep in mind that Chinese medicine is a holistic medicine and considers all systems of the body to be connected.
Next, the practitioner will feel your pulse and look at your tongue. The body’s organs express many features in the pulse and on the tongue. Acupuncturists examine much more than the rate of the pulse; they also observe the shape, regularity, rigidity, and size. In examining your tongue, the practitioner looks at both the tongue body and it’s coating.
Based on this information, the practitioner forms a complete picture of your state of health, which plays a key role in diagnosis and determining the appropriate acupuncture points and/or herbal medicines to use. Your practitioner may have some herbal, lifestyle, dietary, or other natural therapy suggestions. Feel free to ask any questions along the way! We are happy to tell you as much or as little as you want to know about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
After this, your acupuncturist will carefully begin to place the needles for the points they have selected for you. Once all the points are in, you will lie quietly on the table for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your diagnosis. Acupuncture is very relaxing! You may even fall asleep. Once the needle is in the skin, the sensations you may experience become complex, but are seldom unpleasant. You could experience pressure, heat, aching, or tingling at the point and sometimes sensations travel throughout the body. All are normal and expected. Let your practitioner know what you experience; the character of sensation holds information about the treatment.
Your practitioner may decide that adjunctive therapies would also be appropriate for your condition, such as moxabustion, cupping, or massage. Moxabustion is the burning of specially prepared forms of the herb mugwort in order to stimulate certain points further or facilitate the movement of Qi along a channel. Cupping is the use of small glass cups in which a suction is created. The cup is then placed on the skin (usually the shoulders and upper back) in order to stimulate circulation, release tension, and reduce pain.
We look forward to assisting you on your path. Call 802 251 0888 for an appointment today!