What to expect on my first visit?
Your first appointment will last up to 90 minutes. To start with, I will ask you a range of questions about your health and personal history. You will describe in your own words your main health concern, what the symptoms feel like and how they manifest. We will then discuss your sleep patterns, digestive patterns, body sensations (thirst, hot/cold), level of pain, emotional states, as well as your living situation (environment, family and work challenges). I will also take your pulse on both wrists and look at your tongue. Based on all this information, I will make a diagnosis and create a customized treatment plan.
How will I feel after my visit?
Each patient react differently to an acupuncture treatment. It is quite common to experience a deep sense of relaxation and calm. Patients who been overworked and stressed might feel slightly tired after a session. In the other hand, others might feel more energized and ready to tackle the day. I encourage my patients to listen to their body and, ideally, to refrain from vigorous exercise and drinking alcohol for several hours after treatment.
How long do treatments last?
The timing of each treatment depends on each patient's condition and the treatment plan determined for that individual. Generally, the first session last up 90 minutes and the follow-up treatments up to 60 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
Each patient's health condition and response to treatment are unique. Therefore, the number and frequency of treatments vary from person to person. For an acute condition, a course of 6 treatments is generally recommended before assessing the treatment plan. Chronic conditions, because they result from a deeper disharmony, might require a longer treatment.
How often will I need treatment?
Treatments are usually spaced closer together at the beginning. As a general guideline, I advise 4 to 6 weekly sessions to start with. The response to treatment is usually cumulative and so as symptoms begin to improve, the interval between treatments might increase. For patients coming in for prevention and well-being, a treatment every 4 to 6 weeks is usually ideal.
Do acupuncture needles hurt?
Patients who are new to acupuncture are often nervous about needles. However, acupuncture needles are much finer than the needles used for injections and blood tests. When they penetrate the skin, you may occasionally feel a slight heaviness or a dull ache, but the sensation fade away within seconds. Patients enjoy a deeply relaxing time and, indeed, often end up falling asleep on the treatment table.
Is acupuncture just to fix pain or can it be used preventatively?
Acupuncture can be extremely effective to manage a health condition or relieve pain (i.e. help fix a problem). It also extremely effective when used in a preventative way. Indeed, the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine is to maintain the balance of the body. So, the earlier the first signs of imbalance are addressed, the easier it will be to maintain health. The concept of preventative treatments is common in China and is perfectly illustrated by this quote: “Starting a treatment, only after someone has fallen ill, is like forging a spear after the battle has started or digging a well when you are already thirsty”. In our Western countries, preventative treatments are not thought as essential. However, car maintenance is commonly accepted as an efficient way to avoid a car breakdown… Similarly, patients would benefit from regular treatment (every 6 to 8 weeks) even though nothing seems broken yet!