Photograph by HairyLime
On your first visit, you will have a consultation regarding the reason for your visit and any past pertinent health conditions. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns and to ask questions. Based on the diagnosis, a treatment plan will be recommended. After the consultation, you will receive treatment in the same visit.
During the treatment, you may feel relaxed and find yourself drifting off. This is perfectly fine. You will never be left in the room alone whilst needles are in your body. Some people find this awkward at first because they feel obliged to carry on a conversation. I will be in the background, just making sure that you can let her know of any discomfort.
Even if you cannot relax straight away, the soothing quiet is a very precious factor of the acupuncture treatment in today’s rushed and busy lifestyle. Feel free to discuss anything concerning your progress during the consultation or after the session, but it is best for you and your treatment if the calm and tranquillity is preserved.
Many people are surprised to find that acupuncture needles are very thin and fine, unlike hypodermic needles used for injections, blood samples or medical procedures. Most people do not consider the insertion to be painful, and many do not feel it at all. In my experience, I have noticed that the nervousness makes the person expect the worse and it usually takes them a while to notice that the needle has already been inserted!
Sterile, disposable needles are only used once, and then disposed of in the proper way.
Once the needles have been inserted properly in the correct location you may feel a dull ache or a slight tingling. Sometimes there might be an energetic sensation going up or down your arm or leg. Some people feel nothing at all.
Follow-up appointments consist of a much shorter consultation/diagnosis period where you will discuss any effects you felt so that I can see the progress and adjust the treatment, if necessary. A typical treatment can last from 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the patient and condition.
The frequency and length of treatment needed depends on the individual and the main complaint. Acupuncture works on the premise that regular sessions are needed to be effective: 10 treatments over several weeks will be a lot more successful than 10 treatments over several months.
A typical course of treatment is 10 – 15 sessions. Again, it must be stressed that this varies from individual to individual. Some patients are remarkably sensitive to acupuncture and respond much quicker, while others may need longer to treat the same condition.
Once the condition has resolved, many patients choose to continue treatment for maintenance and preventative care. These maintenance visits can be monthly, every other month, seasonally, or semi-annually, depending on the patient’s goals.
Generally once your symptoms are gone, you do not need to have any more treatment. Depending on the nature and history of the disorder, future treatments are usually not necessary to prevent recurrence. There are exceptions such as chronic conditions that tend to recur, like low back pain.
Some patients like to come on a monthly or quarterly basis for preventative care. These types of treatments are nicknamed ‘tune-ups’. Our bodies are in a constant state of change and sometimes small problems can develop which can go on to become major concerns if left unchecked. Just as your dentist recommends periodic checkups to help detect tooth decay before it leads to serious problems, regular acupuncture treatments can help identify and correct small problems before they become bigger ones. This prevents the development of more serious health problems that require more time and financial investment to treat.
These preventative care visits are especially important for patients with long-standing, chronic conditions that tend to recur, such as low back pain. Because acupuncture treatments are so deeply relaxing, many patients find regular maintenance treatments beneficial for stress relief.
For your convenience, the First Visit forms are available for you to print and complete before your first appointment.
Please note that I operate a strict cancellation policy:
Missed or cancelled appointments with less than 24 hours notice will be charged
Please let The Hale Clinic know as soon as possible if you wish to cancel your appointment so that we may offer the space to another client on the waiting list.