Your first visit with an acupuncturist may take an hour or more. The acupuncturist will ask you about your current concerns and do a thorough evaluation of your past medical history as well as a brief physical exam. Once the acupuncturist has enough information she will develop a diagnosis based on the theory of Chinese Medicine and will discuss with you a course of treatment for your condition.
Depending on what points the acupuncturist decides to use, you may be asked to change into a patient gown or shorts so you back, legs, or abdomen are accessable.
The treatment that you receive may be any combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese massage, cupping, or other non invasive techniques. Acupuncture needles are solid and very fine so insertion causes very little discomfort and is sometimes undetectable by the patient.
Future appointments will generally consist of a brief interview on your current symptoms and any changes that may have occurred so treatment can continue or a new treatment plan can be made.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have proven to be highly effective in correcting conditions and maintaining overall wellbeing. Although practitioners cannot anticipate all the possible risks and complications that may arise with each individual case, you should be aware that the following side effects may occur and how to prepare for your treatment.
Is there anything your practitioner should know?
Apart from the usual medical details it is important to let your practitioner know:
- If you have ever experienced a fit, fainting, or other odd detached sensations?
- If you have a pacemaker or any other electrical implants
- If you are pregnant
- If you have a bleeding disorder
- If you are taking anti-coagulants (blood thinners) or any other medications
- If you have damaged heart valves
- Have any particular risk of infection
Preparing For an Acupuncture Treatment:
- It is important to have eaten prior to treatment; a light meal is preferable to a large heavy one
- Stay clear of alcohol one day prior to your acupuncture treatment. Alcohol numbs your system making you unable to respond properly to the treatment. Ditto, you must not take alcohol immediately after the treatment
- Do not subject yourself to heavy and physical exertion before and immediately after Acupuncture treatment
- Wear comfortable clothes for the treatment. You will be asked to roll up your sleeves and trouser legs for the treatment and expose areas of your abdomen and back. In Acupuncture, needles are positioned all over the body so as you can see there is a clear need for you to dress comfortably for this purpose
Possible side effects of Acupuncture:
- Drowsiness can occur in a small number of patients after treatment
- Minor bruising or bleeding may occur from Acupuncture
- The symptoms may become worse before they improve for 1-2 days following treatment. This is generally considered to be a good sign. However if you are concerned or the worsening of the symptoms continues for more than 2 days, please telephone Helena
- Fainting can occur in certain patients particularly in the first treatment
Possible side effects of Chinese Medicine & Naturopathy:
- Bruising is a common side effect of cupping treatment
- Nutritional supplements from plant, animal and mineral sources are considered safe, they may be toxic in large doses or inappropriate during pregnancy