On your first visit, an initial interview process will be conducted to perform a diagnosis. This involves:
If acupuncture is determined to be the best treatment for the diagnosis, the patient will be placed into a comfortable lying or sitting position. One or several (disposable one-use) hair-thin needles will be inserted at specific points. The needles are left in for several minutes to obtain maximum benefit. Generally, the practitioner lets the patient relax during this time. Patients often fall asleep during this part of the treatment.
Chinese herbal medicine comes in three forms.
Electromagnetic Wave Treatment
A special lamp emitting electromagnetic waves from 2 through 25 microns in wavelength is used to enhance superficial blood circulation, improve body immunity, relieve pain, and relax muscles.
Cupping and Gua Sha techniques use squeezing and stretching (respectively) of body tissues. The effect is to smooth muscles and improve circulation, providing stimulus for new tissue generation and elimination of damaged tissues. These techniques are especially effective on chronic injuries.
Cupping involves burning the oxygen out of a small cup and then pressing the cup to the patient's body. The resulting suction that holds the cup in place relieves conditions of stagnant Qi energy. The cup may be shifted around without breaking the vacuum in order to treat larger regions. Depending on the length of time the cup is left in place and the degree of injury, there will be a varying amount of redness (a circular hickey, you might say) at that location for several days. If this redness is of concern, let your practitioner know. Whereas cupping uses a concave tool, Gua Sha involves massage with firm smooth (convex) tools to remove toxins and stagnant fluids from tissues.
Based on your diagnosis and other factors, the practitioner may suggest an adjustment of diet to help enhance and retain the benefits of the other treatments.