Chinese Medicine is a holistic treatment and your practitioner will take an extensive case history, covering every aspect of your health, diet and lifestyle before making a diagnosis. This may include asking seemingly unrelated questions about such things as your response to changes in the weather, your menstrual cycle even if the condition you are attending for is not related to your cycle or whether you sleep with your feet out from under the blankets! Your answers will help identify patterns of disharmony which will allow your practitioner to make a more accurate diagnosis. Your practitioner will also take your pulse on both wrists and may ask to look at your tongue as both provide valuable information about your constitution and presenting condition.
After making a diagnosis your practitioner will decide the appropriate treatment. This may be acupuncture or Chinese herbs separately or in combination or may include the use of moxibustion, tui-na, or gua sha. Your practitioner may also make recommendations regarding your diet and lifestyle.
In comparison to needles which are used for an injection or to take blood, acupuncture needles are very fine – not much thicker than a human hair. A typical treatment will involve the insertion of arount 8-10 acupuncture needles into points which may be selected either close to the affected area or as far away from it as possible. The needles would stay in place for approximately 20-25 minutes, during which most people would drift into a state of deep relaxation or may even go to sleep.