What to expect at your first Acupuncture visit.
Some people would like to visit an Acupuncturist but are nervous or even frightened because they don’t like the idea of needles, but once they try it, most quickly realise there is nothing to be concerned about and that it’s usually a really pleasant, relaxing experience. At Health In The Bay, our Acupuncturist Ann McCarthy’s experience and calm gentle nature can make almost anyone feel comfortable having Acupuncture no matter what their concerns, and get great results.
On your first visit you will be asked to fill out a new patient form, possibly even if you have been to the clinic to see a different practitioner. This form has some questions that helps Ann determine what’s going on and where the issues might stem from. If you are seeing Ann for fertility reasons there will be an extra form to fill out before your appointment, which is quite detailed. When you go in with Ann she will go through the form(s) with you as well as ask some more questions about your reason for your visit, and some other question about you, your body and even your moods that could be relevant, based on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory and philosophy.
After a detailed history, the next step is an assessment, Acupuncturists have a unique way of assessing the body. Ann will feel your pulse, from which she obtains information about the quality of the numerous channels of energy (qi) travelling through your body. She will also look at your tongue, which again gives her more information as to how your body is functioning and where there may be imbalances. This information together with what was determined from the history, allows Ann to determine how best to treat you, ie which combination of points (along the energy channels) are to be treated with needles, to create positive changes.
You will then lie down either on your back or stomach, and the very fine needles are inserted in these specific points, which may be on your body, limbs and sometimes head. The needles are so fine that they are barely felt as they go in and once they are in they generally aren’t felt at all. Ann will leave you there to relax for up to 20 min, with some soothing music playing (if you choose). Ann will then come check on you and the needles, and then often leave you again for a similar time, to relax some more. After that time the needles are removed and she will discuss how best to continue and what she feels you need. Most people come out feeling very relaxed, and sometimes a bit spacey, but overall good!