Your initial consultation will last approximately an hour. A full medical history will be taken, and a number of questions with regards to your presenting condition as well as other aspects of your health, lifestyle and general well-being will be asked. In addition to that, diagnostic methods unique to Chinese Medicine, such as inspection of the tongue, palpation of the pulse, the acupuncture meridians or the abdomen will be used in order to reach a diagnosis and a treatment plan unique to you. I always explain my diagnosis to my patients and thoroughly discuss any suggested treatment with them.
At this stage you will experience your first acupuncture treatment. The needles used are sterile, disposable and extremely thin Japanese steel needles of the finest quality. The experience of acupuncture is unique to the individual. The insertion of the needles should not cause any pain; however, patients often describe feelings of soreness or a dull ache around the acupuncture points or occasionally a tingling sensation along the course of the meridian. All these are signs that the acupuncture points have been appropriately stimulated.
Acupuncture is a safe treatment with no side effects. The majority of the patients find the experience very relaxing. Depending on the patient’s presenting condition, a slight worsening of the initial symptoms might occur, lasting from a few hours up to a day after the treatment. These are not alarming in any way; they are just a sign that the body’s self-balancing mechanisms have been adequately triggered and that the treatment has started to work.
After the acupuncture treatment, dietary and lifestyle advice is given when appropriate.