New Patients: Your First Visit

Acupuncture

What to Expect
For your first acupuncture appointment, please arrive at least 15-20 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to fill out the necessary intake and consent forms, if you haven't already done so. For your convenience, you can New Patients - find the forms here as PDFs. The intake form asks questions about your current state of health (including current symptoms), past illnesses, and family history. The consent forms include a review of HIPAA, informed consent, and financial policies.

This initial appointment will take about 90 minutes depending on your condition so please schedule accordingly. Subsequent treatments last approximately 60 minutes. During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Asian Medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. In addition, I may do a more extensive physical exam that involves a palpation exam.

We will discuss your dietary choices and how they affect your health. We will go over what changes I would like you to make to your diet and why. Education of
my patients is very important to me so expect to learn a good amount while you
are here.

Treatment
When I conclude the consultation, we will move into the treatment room. The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition, but generally I use anywhere between 20-50 needles for each treatment. Once the needles are inserted, I will leave you to lie comfortably for 30-40 minutes with the needles in place. We will check on you after the first 10 minutes to be sure that you are doing well. Many people find acupuncture deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.

Here are a few things I want you to do or be aware of:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

On the Day of Your Appointment
The following suggestions are provided to help you have a safe and relaxing experience with acupuncture. In order to reduce the risk of side effects, I require
my clients to adhere to certain precautions. Please read this section carefully. If you have any questions, please contact me prior to your first visit.

  • Bring your notes and a list of current medications you are taking, including any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
  • Please bring any lab or medical reports relevant to your condition.
  • Eat a meal within 2 hours prior to your visit. Acupuncture is not performed on individuals who are fasting. Being overly hungry increases the risk of nausea or dizziness. At the same time, please do not overeat or eat any foods that cause your stomach to be upset (for example, rich, greasy, fried, or extremely spicy foods).
  • Avoid alcohol on the day of your treatment. Acupuncture is not performed on intoxicated individuals due to the increased risk of shock. It is also not advisable to become intoxicated shortly after treatment.
  • Avoid heavy exertion (including sexual activity) immediately before and after treatment (i.e., within 2 hours).
  • Set aside enough time so that you are not rushing to and from your visit. Please schedule your activities on the day of your visit accordingly. That includes no heavy exertion (i.e., kickboxing, sprinting, heavy lifting) for the rest of the day.
  • If possible, please wear loose comfortable clothing that can be rolled up to your elbows or knees. Acupuncture points are located all over the body. Many
    of the acupuncture points that are commonly used are located between the wrists and elbows and the ankles and knees. Gowns are available, however.
  • Please be on time. Be on time for your appointment so that you may benefit fully. When you make an appointment, please understand that time has been reserved for you. There will be a charge for missed appointments without 24 hours' notice.

What to Expect After Treatment
Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies.

Side effects are infrequent, but may include the following: lightheadedness, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising, residual muscle aches. Any of these side effects should only last a short time. Staying hydrated after your treatment will help to minimize these side effects, as will resting after your treatment. Any side effects should be reported at your next visit.

On rare occasions, one's original symptoms may briefly get worse, or "flare-up," after a treatment. A flare-up typically occurs later on the day of your treatment and should only last for a few hours. After a flare-up, your symptoms should begin to improve. In the long run, acupuncture typically does not make symptoms worse. In cases of chronic pain, your original pain may improve and then unmask less obvious pain in the surrounding areas. The pain will feel like it moved.

 

 

 

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Contact or Visit Us:
New Patients -   New Patients -  

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
106 N. Main St. | Oregon, WI 53575
P 608-835-9355 | F 608-835-8444
info@pivotalpointonline.com