What should I eat before my appointment?
How do I get the most out of each session?
The initial intake
What happens during an acupuncture session?
What other techniques are used during a session?
How will I feel after a session?
How often will I need to come in?

What should I eat before my appointment?

Eat a medium size protein and carbohydrate meal an hour before your session.  Avoid foods that may cause stomach upset such as greasy, fried, or extremely spicy foods

If you have not eaten for a few hours, your blood sugar levels may be low and your body will be in a stress mode.  Additionally, hunger slightly increases the risk of nausea or dizziness.  If you eat a large meal just before your session, most of your metabolic energy will be required  for digestion rather than supplementing the acupuncture treatment.

How do I get the most out of each session?

Give yourself at least a half hour to relax after your session.  You may want to get something to eat, drive, take a walk, or read.   Avoid intense physical activity for 2 hours before and after treatment.  It is best to avoid caffeine and alcohol during the day of treatment and at least 24 hours afterwards.

The initial intake

The first session is my opportunity to get to know you and review your health history.  Because symptoms may be related, a seemingly unimportant detail may shed light on the root cause of your condition.   You will receive acupuncture treatment although it may be shorter if the intake is complex,  Ordinarily, this session last between 1½ to 2 hours.

Because diet, exercise and stress all have a strong impact on health, we will discuss reasonable modifications in these areas.  I will also evaluate the supplements you are taking.  We will have time for questions and explanations. .

Together, we’ll decide on an initial series of treatments, which will be followed by an evaluation.  If I determine that you need care outside of my scope of practice, I may refer you for Western medical care, physical therapy, psychotherapy, chiropractic, or massage therapy.

What happens during an acupuncture session?

I begin most of my sessions with a back massage to calm the nervous system and locate areas of muscular tension.

People are often surprised and relieved to learn that acupuncture needles are extremely thin, unlike hypodermic needles.  Acupuncture needles are about as fine and flexible as a cat’s whisker.  I use a gentle placement technique.  Generally the insertion of a needle is imperceptible.  Once the needle is placed, fleeting sensations of warmth, heaviness, a dull ache or tingling may follow.   The needles are disposable and pre sterilized.

While some practitioners treat either the front or the back of the body during a session, my approach is to treat both sides.  I have found that the body is time to make gentle shift into the healing mode and assimilate the stimuli given by the acupuncture.

Treatment rooms are warm and filled with soothing music.  Patients experience a profound sense of tranquility and well-being during a treatment.  It’s not unusual to fall into a deep sleep.

What other techniques are used during a session?

Sometimes I use electrical stimulation which feels as though some one is gently tapping you.  It is a pleasant sensation and even a bit hypnotic.    I may also use moxibustion, which employs a heated incense type stick which I circle above specific points to bring more warmth and circulation to an area.  It is often used in pain syndromes or to strengthen a particular organ system.

I usually incorporate Jin Shin Jyutsu, (a type of acupressure) during a session.  It enhances the therapeutics effect of acupuncture.

How will I feel after a session?

Almost without exception, clients experience a deep sense of relaxation and tranquility.   It is not uncommon to feel tired after the first 2 sessions because the body is redirecting its energy towards healing .  This state is frequently followed by renewed energy and clarity.

Individual responses to treatments vary.  Relief of symptoms may be immediate or gradual and last from hours to days.  Improvement is cumulative.  It is possible to have a brief  ‘flare-up’ after a treatment. This typically occurs and then subsides within 24 hours.  If it lasts longer, please notify me.

Rarely, clients experience a light-headedness or muscle ache for a short period of time.

How often will I need to come in?

As part of your first visit, we will discuss a proposed course of treatment.  Generally, acute conditions of recent onset may only require 1 to 3 treatments. Chronic conditions usually require more weekly treatments and may be needed for several months in order to have a curative effect.

Typically, I suggest 3 initial treatments, spaced three to four days apart.  This initial reinforcement gives better results.   From there, I usually recommend one session a week for 3 weeks, followed by a revaluation.

Treatments may then be extended to every other week, every three weeks, monthly and eventually seasonally.  The frequency of treatments varies with each individual.  Please feel free to call me to discuss your concern and a possible plan of treatment

Consistency is important, not only for acupuncture be effective, but also to establish new habits and awareness regarding your health.  Beginning treatment at the onset of a condition improves the chances of a quick recovery.