How does the first Acupuncture visit work?

What should you expect when you come for an Acupuncture treatment at Wuest Acupuncture in Hobart?

1: Making an appoinment

Firstly, an appointment can be made by either calling and chatting about things first, to find out if we can help. Once that’s out of the way, or if you have had Acupuncture before and want to book in, you can either call us, text us about a time, or use the online booking page.

After we have booked you in for a suitable appointment, we can get ready for your first initial consultation.

On an initial consultation, this is the first time you’ve visited us, so even though you may have had Acupuncture before, we need to get to know you and find out what ist is you want to accomplish or what you need help with. If you’re able too, it helps to arrive about 5 minutes early. There will be an initial intake form  waiting for you somewhere in the reception area on a clipboard.

2: Appointment time

The first Initial Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine consultation is more heavy on  questioning and getting all the information, however we still do an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treatment. The first appointment might take anywhere from 40minutes to 1 hour. Following that, every standard Acupuncture appointment takes approximately 45 minutes.

The reason that the follow up appointments are a little quicker, is because we have taken all the relevant information on the very first treatment. And given that after the first consultation, Chad will have reviewed your case and have more insight on the second treatment, we can more easily move straight into the treatment phase of the session. We will still catch up briefly on the follow up appointment and make sure everything is ok and see how you’ve been going since the last session though.

3. Diagnostics and Pulses

During a typical initial consultation, depending on what the issue is, Chad, your Acupuncturist (registered with AACMA and AHPRA), may check both of your radial pulses, a form of pulse diagnostics. This form of pulse diagnostics is a Chinese Medicine practice that has been used for thousands of years.

We use pulse diagnostics to assess the relative strength, depth and width of the pulse. By feeling the qualities of the pulse, we are bringing our awareness to the blood that the heart is pumping through this radial pulse, which gives us vital information about your well being and helps us identify questions we might ask to further narrow down diagnostics.

We also look at the tongue, the coating of the tongue, the colour, shape and other qualities of the tongue to work out things like how much heat there is in the body, how much fluids and blood are circulating and for other signs of blood stagnation.

If it’s decided that these diagnostics are necessary in your treatment, we will note any details for referral too in future. Moving on from this, we might do what is termed “channel palpation” or palpate areas on the abdomen and under the rib cage for any information that might prove  useful to the treatment.

4. The treatment

After completing the diagnostics, we can move to the treatment plan, where we identify which areas of the body will be important for our Acupuncture treatment. Usually this involves selecting a “treatment channel”, which basically relates to pathways on the body that form the basis of transferring of qi (oxygen) and Blood to the entire body, organs, skin and tissues.

If you can, try and wear comfortable clothing that is amenable to lying on a table for some time.

We do have towels we can provide for draping etc and your practitioner will always leave the room to allow you time to make yourself comfortable. Most Acupuncture sessions will require the removal of shoes and socks, as these are the most common areas used  for the treatment process. Your practitioner will discuss which areas of the body will provide the best response for each unique individual.

During the Acupuncture component, only single use and disposable needles, made of the highest quality stainless steel are used. These are almost the same size as a human hair, as read in this article.

5. During Treatment

The typical sensations you can feel once the needles are in place are heaviness, or a dull achy feeling, tingling etc. Following that you are left to relax for 20-30 minutes, lying on a  comfortable treatment table, with a pillow under your ankle, knees and behind the head.

Other therapies that your practitioner may decide to bring into your consultation are electro acupuncture or cupping, but we can discuss these options at your treatment session should it be needed. Chinese medicine also encompasses the paradigm of herbal medicine, complex formulas of chinese herbs can be ordered to support the treatment process and your treatment goals. We will discuss these options with you in the first few sessions.

After the Acupuncture needles have been retained for between 20-30 minutes, your practitioner will return to the room and ask how you are and remove the needles. It’s advisable once the needles have been remove to just take your time as you sit up off the table, as some people, in particular people with lox blood pressure, might potentially feel dizzy if they get up too quickly. So this is just a precaution. If during any part of the treatment you feel anxious, uncomfortable or faint let your practitioner know so we can help.

6. End of treatment

Following the removal of needles, your practitioner will leave the room to allow you to get your shoes on and get yourself in order to finish your consult.  At the end before you leave, we will chat about your follow up appointment and discuss how you are feeling and what you might  expect in the days and week following your first consultation, we may even text you the days after to see how things are.

We might send you some follow up notes or articles in relation to your appointment, or your goals to help further educate on things like Chinese Medicine theory, but please let us know if you would prefer us not to do that.

We hope to make you as comfortable as possible for your first session of Acupuncture in Hobart. Please get in touch if you have any questions, or find more information on the home page.

Chad Wuest

Acupuncturist & Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Hobart, Tasmania