On the day of your appointment, please do not brush or scrape your tongue. The tongue coating is very important to diagnosis and can be disrupted with brushing. Taking your pulse in both wrists and visually examining your tongue are part of diagnosing what patterns you are displaying.
Wear comfortable clothes, preferably ones that stretch and allow easy access to your upper arms and legs. If you are coming from work, don't worry we will provide you with a gown and appropriate draping. Please bring a scarf (it may be a lighter scarf if the weather is warm) if you feel you are getting sick, are sick or getting gua sha or cupping.
The first session might take a full hour to an hour and a half depending on your medical history. Your follow up sessions should be around a half hour to an hour. Your initial intake form will give your practitioner information to start treating you, but you should report any changes or additional concerns you have at follow up appointments.
Acupuncture should not cause much pain, but the needle may hurt as it breaks the skin, usually this pain goes away quickly. Once the needle is inserted it will be gently manipulated until Qi is felt. How acupuncture feels will vary depending on where the needle is placed on the body. If you are sick or on your menses it may be more sensitive. If you are sensitive, your practitioner can change the thickness of the needle, or may have you do breathing exercises while the needles are inserted to reduce sensation. Overall most patients do not consider acupuncture to be painful and they find the benefits outweigh any discomfort.
This will depend on what you are wanting to work on. It is important to know that one acupuncture treatment will not adequately address your issues. Try to commit to 10 treatments before you make an opinion about its efficacy, although you should see results before that.
If your insurance company is based in California it must cover acupuncture as of January 2014. If you send a photograph of the front of your insurance card along with your date of birth to the email below, we will check your benefits for you.