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What can you expect on your first visit?

The first visit takes a little longer than the subsequent one. Traditional Chinese Medicine always looks at the whole body even if you come in with a very localized problem.

Questioning

To get an accurate picture of your whole being, the Chinese medicine practitioner examines you, using the traditional Chinese method, called the Four Examinations: inquiring, looking, listening/smelling and touching. This process of examination reveals which of the Eight Fundamental Patterns of disharmony is creating your problem.

After listening to the description of your ailment, the practitioner will ask a lot of questions which may or may not seem to be related at all to your condition. Your blood pressure will be taken, and any physical examination needed will take place.

Examination of the tongue:

The tongue's appearance, shape, color, coating... all are fantastic insight into your body. The practitioner will ask you to stick you tongue out briefly, and will take all the information into account in order to make a diagnosis.

It is best not to eat, or drink coffee at least one hour prior to your appointment so as not to affect the color of your tongue.

 

Pulse taking:

Another important tool of Chinese Medicine, is pulse taking. The practitioner will feel the pulse on each wrist, on three locations, and at three different depths.

It is then time for treatment. You might or might not need to remove any clothing, depending on the location of the points where the needles will be inserted. Prior to inserting a needle, the skin will be rubbed with alcohol. The needle going through the skin causes a small pinch. Then the sensation may be one of warmth, small current, tingling as the needle reach the proper depth. Your practitioner will ask for feedback, and any major discomfort will be addressed.

After making sure you are comfortable, the practitioner will leave the room. The time of the needle treatment will vary from in/out to 20 minutes, to one hour. After removal of the needles, you will be given some herbal medicinals if your case warrants it.