logoM.A., LMFT (MFC 50298), M.S., LAc. (AC 8941)

What To Expect

How are diagnoses made?

Because Chinese medicine is an integral, it considers all aspects of our lives — emotional and mental life, exercise, stress level, quality of diet and lifestyle, etc. — when making an energetic diagnosis, I ask a lot of questions. I want and need to know what aspects of your life may contribute to the symptoms you are having. When the symptoms begin? What was going on in your life at the time? What influences may have contributed to your current condition? Those, are all important questions to address, so that we can treat the root of the symptoms, not just the branches that are affected. As the list of symptoms and their etiology  guide towards making a diagnosis, other important tests and observations — such as tongue and pulse assessments — help confirm the proper energetic diagnosis.

How long is the initial & the following sessions?

  • The initial visit is always scheduled for a 90 minutes session. This allows for a thorough first intake and an initial acupuncture session.
  • The following treatments are usually scheduled as a 50 minutes session. If more time is needed the fee is prorated by 15 minutes increments.

What should I do, or avoid, before & after my treatment?

  • Avoid intense physical activity and being hungry or fasting.
  • Avoid excessive stress — physical and emotional — before and after treatments.
  • Avoid wearing make up, lip stick, perfume or eating something right before a session — unless you have been fasting for more than 4-5 hours.
  • Avoid strong stimulants like caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and certain drugs. They may make the insertion of needles more sensitive and unpleasant.
  • Avoid fasting, having your blood drawn. Treatments when a person has low blood sugar are not recommended.
  • Unless women are treated specifically for health issues related to their painful periods, they are asked not to have treatments on the first day of their period, especially when the menses are abundant. In these situations, the possibility of fainting increases; especially when there is both loss of blood and fasting at the same time.

What should I expect after the treatment?

As the NIH [National Institute of Health] confirmed, acupuncture has little or no side effects. However, depending of the condition treated and the patient’s vitality and general health, some people MAY have some reactions following the first session, or the first few treatments. Following are a few possible ways to react after the first few treatments:

  • A huge or noticeable improvement — and sometimes worsening  of the symptoms — is experience during or right after the initial treatment: In such cases, the general energy of the body is strong and the symptoms, even if very painful, are only superficial, and have not attacked the basic vitality of the body. Such cases indicate that the body has engaged in a strong fight to return to its homeostatic state. The increased symptoms, or pain never lasts more than a day or two. Again, as inconvenient as this may seem to some people, clinical experience shows that in most cases, is is a sign that a speedy recovery is ahead.
  • It takes a few sessions before a noticeable and positive reaction is experienced. This means that the body’s vital energy is [very] weak and needs to be nurtured and reinforced before it can start fulfilling its healing functions and the person begins to experience the relief of symptoms. As the vitality of the body becomes stronger, symptoms will lessen.
  • The symptoms go away for a few hours to a few days, but come back, while not being as strong: This is a very frequent way to react to treatments. The treatment is strong enough to move or tonify the Qi in the desired pattern intended, but the vital energy of the patient is still too weak to sustain the results. In almost all cases, positive effects to the treatments will last for longer periods as the treatment continues, often incrementally. In this scenario, it may be especially important to make some adjustment to life style patterns such as diet, sleep, work, exercise, unresolved psychological stressors, etc. in order to preserve and foster sustained vitality.

How safe are the needles?

  • As is the case with any health care professional who come in contact with body fluids, licensed acupuncturists follow a strict code of clean needle technique required by law and ethics.
  • New and sterile needles are ALWAYS used for each and every acupuncture point.
  • All needles are disposed and discarded in a biohazard container immediately after the treatment.

What if I do not believe in acupuncture, will it influence my results?

  • Believing that acupuncture works is irrelevant. However, being honest and accurate about the changes and improvements, or not, of symptoms is required and important. It is through your honest feedback that I adapt and tailor the best therapeutic protocol I have at my disposal, so that I can address the cause of your health issues.
  • It may be interesting to notice that treatments are frequently performed on new born babies and infants, as well as on cats, dogs & horses; none of whom have a positive or negative belief about this unusual — at least for us Westerners — form of treatment.

Once the symptoms are gone, do I have to keep on coming back?

  • Chinese medicine and acupuncture address the root of diseases.
  • At its core, acupuncture is a preventive medicine. Meaning that a person doesn’t need to wait for intense symptoms to set in, or to return, before consulting for acupuncture and/or herbal medicines. Repairing broken windows and doors prevent thieves from coming, and for storms and tornadoes to destroy our homes as easily
  • Once the symptoms have disappeared, it is a good idea to get a few more sessions to reinforce the body’s vital energy flow; especially when the disease is caused by a deficiency of the body’s vitality, or when it has become chronic.
  • Treatments are phased out according to one’s vital energy, one’s life style, and the chronicity of the symptomatology.
  • In most cases the disappearance of symptoms indicates that the root cause has been treated. This being said, it behooves clients to be pro-active in maintaining their restored health, and not wait for symptoms to return before scheduling additional treatments.
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