Preparing for Your Visit

In this section you will find information on your role in the healing process. I believe strongly in educating my clients and equipping them with the tools to sustain their health independently whenever possible. The more you become involved with your health and responsible for your body, the better you will feel.

Before Your First Visit

Spend some time thinking about what you would like to achieve from your acupuncture treatment. What are your expectations? What questions or concerns do you have about acupuncture? Jot down a few notes to bring with you to your first visit. The more openly we can communicate, the better I can help you.

Be realistic. If you have several conditions or symptoms you would like to address, please rank them. On your first visit, I will ask you primarily about your chief complaint. Secondary issues will also be noted and addressed as treatment progresses.

Start noticing how you feel each day and make a few notes. With respect to your chief complaint, try to answer these questions:

  • When did this condition first appear? Is this a new condition or a recurring illness?
  • What brought it on? What triggers it?
  • Is your condition getting worse?
  • To what degree does it interfere with your daily routine, work or sleep?
  • What aggravates it? What provides relief?
  • What time of day does it bother you the most? The least?

Be as descriptive and specific as possible. For example, “pain” and “discomfort” are very general words. Chinese medicine recognizes subtle distinctions in different types of pain. Burning pain is not the same as pain that has a stabbing sensation. Listed below are some words you might use to distinguish your particular pain.

  • Sharp
  • Dull and achy
  • Constant
  • Burning
  • Contracting/Tight
  • Heavy
  • Radiating (from where?)
  • Intermittent
  • Stabbing
  • Distending
  • Numb
  • Pins & needles
  • No feeling
  • Wandering
  • Pounding

If none of these are appropriate, try coming up with your own words. If you are having difficulty describing your pain in words, try visualizing it or drawing a picture, and then describe what you see.