After the initial intake, the first treatment is often one of the most courageous steps you will take towards your better well-being. We will begin the session by sitting down and discussing your feelings regarding your current symptoms and agreeing on short term and long-term expectations for your first treatment as well as future sessions. From here I will let you know what areas of your body I would like to access during the treatment. Since the first treatment can already cause some anxiety, I will often keep things relatively simple and only use points towards your extremities (I.E. arms past the elbows and legs below the knees). Sometimes I will ask to access your neck or stomach area, however the main requirement for any treatment is that you are able to relax. Acupuncture uses a complex system of channels and points that allow me to affect areas of discomfort using points in completely different areas of the body, so if any suggested area makes you uncomfortable, please let me know and I can almost always find alternatives.
After we discuss and agree on expectations, I will allow you to prepare yourself. I most commonly utilize a treatment table, however if you prefer to be seated, I also have a comfortable reclining chair that you can use. If you need to change or remove clothing before we begin, I will step out of the room and let you get comfortable at your own pace. I provide a light blanket for you to use if you desire, and from this point on I will always knock and ask permission when re-entering the room. Once you are comfortably situated, I will usually take a few moments to “take your pulses.” Though this may initially remind you of getting your pulses taken at the doctor’s office, I employ a very different technique and am able to draw far more information from them than a normal physician. Some of the things I am looking for are specifics on how your pulses feel and how the pulses on each wrist compare. I am actually feeling your pulse in 3 different locations on each wrist, and I may go back and forth several times to compare and assess what I am feeling. For me, analyzing your pulses is similar to giving you another intake questionnaire. Do not be alarmed if I spend several minutes with your pulses, it doesn’t mean something is wrong, I am simply trying to analyze everything I am feeling. I may ask a few more questions during this process based on what I am noticing in the pulse.
The hard parts are all over, now it is your turn to just relax and breathe. During the course of a treatment I can use use needles, essential oils, and moxa on specific points. It is not uncommon for me to re-check your pulses throughout the treatment, because your pulse can change that quickly. Once both of us are satisfied with the immediate results –me with needle placement, and you with comfort – I will let you relax. I usually have light background music playing, and I will often leave the room. I never go further than my outer office while you are in the room, so if you find yourself getting anxious or wanting something simply call out and I will return. I usually come back in to check on your progress several times and may add, remove, or change the placement of needles based on how you are feeling and changes in your pulses. If at any time you are not comfortable with me leaving, just let me know and I can stay in the room. Most importantly, these treatments are yours, and relaxation is the key – if there are points you would prefer we avoid, I will do everything in my power to make that happen. If there are modalities you would prefer to stay away from, that is okay as well.
Very, very rarely will you receive the same treatment twice. I base each treatment on what is going on in your life at any given time, and what I feel in your pulses. Our goal is to move you forward. That being said, if there is a point that spoke to you deeply or a point you really enjoy – let me know at any point and I will take note and try to incorporate that point when it is possible.