It may take about 90 minutes for your first visit, maybe more, maybe less, depending how complicated your disease is. It includes 30 minutes for me to investigate your medical history and do some relevant physical examinations, and 60 minutes to perform treatment and give you advise on life style adjustment.
You are required to input your contact and age or date of birth in a very simple in-take form. You also need understand and sign the Consent to Treatment Form. It is a standard form created by the governing body CTCMA. It illustrates what may happen during and after treatment. To save time, it is better for you to download it and read it prior to your visit.
If your health condition is complicated, you may write down the main and all other complaints. You are welcome to email me the names of medications and supplements you are taking and email me reports from your medical doctors on lab test or images if you have. The reports may help me give you good advice on your life style adjustment.
Your are encourage to tell me any kind of sensations aroused while I insert and operate an acupuncture needle. Your may get sensations at or from the needling point: numb, tight, oppressing, shooting, aching, etc. Certain sensations indicate a promising therapeutic effect. Your cooperation is a great help for me to adjust my needle manipulations.
Needling is the main part of acupuncture therapy. There are others, like ear seed therapy, tuina, cupping, heating. Each one has its advantages to certain conditions. I may combine different therapies to achieve maximum therapeutic effect with or without increasing your bill.
Depends on which body surface area will be needled, you may need to remove all your clothes off except your underwear. You will be covered with one or more pieces of fresh cotton sheets and have the needling areas exposed only. I usually insert more needles in your diseased area and a few needles in your four limbs below the knees and elbows. I use about 15 to 20 needles for most of my patients, sometimes more, sometimes less, according to the complexity of a condition. There is a period of about 20 minutes for retaining needles in your body.
It was very rare, but happened, and completely preventable. A patient who is hungry, nervous and tired tends to get faint after acupuncture needles removed, specially under a very aggressive treatment provided by a novice acupuncturist. To prevent it from happening, don't go for an acupuncture treatment with an empty stomach or a full stomach. Eat a little bit first before leaving home. After treatment, if you feel dizzy while you get up from the acupuncture table, please lie down or just sit in the table for a few more minutes, don't jump to the floor, the dizziness will disappear.
I may spend 30 to 50 minutes to collect medical information from you by asking you many questions and if available, analyze results of your lab tests or images, and if necessary, give you a physical check. Then I need about 30 minutes to prepare a herbal formula for you in forms of raw herbs or of instant granules.
You only need to fill your contact and a few private information in a in-take form. I will fill all the rest of the form for you while I investigate your health history.
Please refer to the first visit for acupuncture section above.
How long you need to take herbs depends on your conditions. For some acute condition like inflamed throat, you may only need herbs for 7 days. But for many chronic condition, like eczema, your treatment course will be counted by month. Since everyone responses to herbs in a different way. I usually only prescribe herbs for one week from the beginning. You are required to come back 7 days later to have your condition re-assessed and have an adjusted formulated herbal compound for another 7 days or longer.
If you have a habit to brush your tongue every day, please don't it many days before you see your herbalist. A layer covering the tongue is call coating which may show in different colors and textures. The appearance of tongue help me to decide what kinds of herbs I can use and can't use, and helps me to evaluate the treatment outcome.
I use both instant herbal granules and raw herbs in my practice, each has its advantages for certain conditions. The instant one is a form of concentrated and processed raw herbs. It is more convenient. You prepare it just like you prepare instant coffee. The raw one is the traditional one. It is better than the instant granules for some severe conditions. It need be decocted inconveniently, and its taste is not very good to many patients.
Some diseases are better be treated by acupuncture, like pain from soft tissue injury and headache. Some are better be treated by herbs, like UTI and most menstrual disorders. Some are better be treated by combination, like severe arthritis and migraine.
Ask for discount when you have both therapies. Usually you can get a lowest price for your herbs.