Health Review

I like to schedule a full hour for our first meeting. This gives us time to review your health history and clarify goals for your treatment. We will discuss all of your bodily systems and any other symptoms or health concerns. You may not see these as directly related to your chief reason for receiving acupuncture treatment. But information that may not seem relevant to your area of concern often helps me understand patterns that can assist me in planning your treatment.

After this review of your health, you will be asked to lie on a massage table for a physical assessment. I will read pulses at your wrists and neck and feel energy channels, called meridians, to detect differences in temperature, texture and moisture. What I observe at these channels and points and what you report about these areas informs your treatment plan.

The Needles…

Hair-thin needles will be gently inserted into specific acupuncture points according to the feedback I get from the physical assessment. The needles are usually painless. Occasionally, the insertion of a needle may feel like a little pinch, or in rare instances, as strong as a bee sting.

Heavily influenced by Japanese traditions of acupuncture, I also use needles called teishin which stimulate points on the surface of the skin without insertion. Many patients find this technique, called contact needling, to be even more powerful in its effect than needle insertion. Time will be taken to choose the best technique for you.

The sensations that most patients feel does not come from the insertion of needles. Instead, the most common sensations are felt after the needle has been inserted and their qi, or vital energy, has met the needle. Some describe the sensation as pulsating, a dull ache, or sometimes as an electrical, traveling sensation as qi travels along its pathway in the body.

The length of time that I leave a needle in, the number of needles I use, the inserting and removing techniques I use will vary. Different points will need needling at different times during a treatment. I will check your pulses at the wrist after needles are removed, which will inform my decision whether or not to insert more needles, and if so, where.