An initial consultation takes around 1 hour. I will ask questions about your medical history, lifestyle and wellbeing. Topics covered within the conversation include sleep, digestion, bowel movements, reproduction, menstrual cycles, skin allergies, and other questions that are very specific to Chinese medicine.
In the follow up consultation which takes around 30 minutes, I will go over any changes and progress to the above areas.
Dress comfortably - so that you can relax and enjoy the treatment.
Loose fitting clothing - I will need to access your arms and legs, so it will be helpful if you are able to roll your sleeves/leg trousers above your elbows and knees, pull your top up to uncover your abdomen, or lower the waistband of your trousers. If there are areas I am unable to access, I will ask you to remove part of your clothing and cover yourself with a towel provided.
Jewellery - you may be asked to remove your watch and bracelets in order for me to perform pulse diagnosis from both wrists. There are also some frequently used acupuncture points located in the wrist area.
Acupuncture needles are inserted to various depths at specific points on your body. The needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes little discomfort. Between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment. You may feel a mild aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth. I might gently move or twirl the needles after insertion or apply heat (moxa) or mild electrical pulses to the needles. Depending on your diagnosis, I may also include gua sha, massage, cupping, or acupressure.
Needles remain in place for around 20 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is usually no discomfort during the needle removal.
I will put together a take home sheet with lifestyle and dietary advice according to principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.