Acupuncture: Your First Appointment

Welcome! By choosing acupuncture, you’ve taken a great step toward a more balanced, healthy lifestyle. The ancient practices of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medical herbs have helped millions of people regain and maintain their health.

Since this system of health care may be different than other care you’ve received, it’s only natural to have questions. Read on to find out what to expect – and how to get the most out of your treatments.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) takes a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. In order to assist you with your health goals, I will take into account your whole self, not just your current physical symptoms. We will explore together various factors like lifestyle, diet, emotional and mental well being, to see if any of those factors may be affecting the symptoms your body has produced.

Getting the chance to really discuss your health concerns – and having your physician really listen – may be new to you. Think of it as your opportunity to form a partnership for better health. The more you take part in your healing process, the more successful it will be.

Initial visits generally last 90 minutes and include (optionally) a brief acupuncture treatment. Please go to our website and download the health history and HIPAA forms. Fill out the history form as completely as possible and bring both forms with you to this first appointment. Include a detailed list of all medications and over-the-counter supplements you are taking. During the initial visit, I will review your health history in detail and perform a physical exam, before I provide you with a Chinese medical diagnosis and your unique treatment plan.

During this first appointment, I will spend a lot of time getting to know you and your health concerns. I may ask a wide range of questions about your childhood illnesses, your current symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, and emotional states – anything that may offer insight into the state of your health. I will also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such as tongue and pulse diagnosis.

Once I have gathered enough information, I will give you a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:
• Your primary pattern of disharmony as well as underlying imbalances,
• Your time line of care,
• What types of treatment I recommend to initiate and later on maintain the healing process.

To treat all Qi imbalances, fine sterile needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridian pathways that run just below the skin surface. I will concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs, based on your unique issues and symptoms.

I may include other related therapies in your treatment plan, such as cupping, massage, heat therapy or Qi Gong. Herbal remedies are another important aspect of acupuncture and TCM. Because herbal formulas are food based (rather than chemical concentrates), large doses are required to achieve the desired results. It is not uncommon to see a prescription for 6 pills to be taken 3 times a day. It is important to understand and follow the directions on your herbal prescription form in order to get the most benefit from these treatments.

At this time most insurance companies do not cover acupuncture. However, some companies do cover alternative medical wellness consults. Check with your company. If you know you are covered, you pay us at the time of your visit. We give you paperwork that you are responsible for submitting to your insurance company for possible reimbursement according to the terms of your plan.

If you are not covered, you can ask if it is possible to alter your coverage accordingly.

Please call the clinic for fee details (941) 586 3172. We accept cash or checks at the time of your appointment. We do not accept credit cards.

For the best treatment results, please keep a few things such as the following in mind:

• Please arrive a few minutes early. Your heart rate needs time to settle down before your pulses are re-evaluated.
• Don’t eat a large meal before your visit.
• Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
• Be sure to ask questions that concern you about your treatment. Make a list, if you like. Dialogue helps us both!
• If your MD prescribed meds and/or over-the-counter supplements change at any time, put the new prescriptions into a shopping bag and bring them along to your next appointment. We will record the changes in your chart.
• Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for at least six hours after treatment.
• Follow your treatment plan between visits.
• Keep all of your appointments, as each visit builds upon the previous ones.
• To ensure a smooth flow of patients, we require a minimum 24 hours advance notice for appointment changes or cancellations. You will be charged a $35. fee for changes made with insufficient notice.
• Un-opened herbal prescriptions may be returned for a full refund within 14 days of sale. Opened bottles will not be refunded.

Your actions are a key component of your treatment plan. Focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take for your well being. Together, we can begin this healing journey, and help you achieve harmony and balance.

Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture can assist you in maintaining your health and prevent possible future imbalances. Many of our patients come in for seasonal tune-ups and acute care as the need arises. Acupuncture and TCM can nurture your body, mind and spirit for a lifetime!

Read More Articles