Your first acupuncture appointment begins with an in-depth discussion of your medical history from birth to the present. We focus on any and all past physical or emotional traumas, illnesses, surgeries, medications and treatments, currently diagnosed conditions or symptoms, and your lifestyle context. Symptoms are red flags to the acupuncturist that an aspect of your healing energy system is malfunctioning, regardless of how long ago your condition started and whether or not any physiological changes show up through medical testing. You do not need to understand or to believe in acupuncture for treatments to help you heal. Acupuncture is successful in treating pre-verbal babies and animals too. Still, a negative attitude toward any kind of medical treatment will slow your recovery, just as a positive mind-set will propel your healing. Your success will not be hindered if you can take a neutral attitude: “I don’t know if acupuncture can help”.
Next is the acupuncture physical exam which includes Chinese pulse-taking (in twelve positions on the wrists) and tongue diagnosis to assess the present and long-term state of your healing energy channels. There may be abdominal, meridian, or site of injury/symptom palpation, or the checking of your left-right structural or energetic balance. Then, your acupuncturist discusses with you your diagnosis and route to recovery from an acupuncture perspective. Following the diagnostic process, you will receive your first treatment. (For more information see: “What is Acupuncture?” and “How Does Acupuncture Work?”)