Now that you have decided to schedule an appointment at China Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you might be wondering what to expect at your first session. Here is a brief overview of a typical first appointment:
Either call the clinic or schedule your initial appointment online. Allow 1-1/2 – 2 hours for your first appointment. Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Arrive at least ten minutes early; you will have consent forms to fill out. When entering the clinic please turn off your cell phone and remove your shoes in the waiting area. There are slippers available for use during your time at the clinic but socks and bare feet are fine too. The receptionist will greet you as you enter, but they may be away from the desk tending to patients’ needs. Have a seat and the receptionist will be back soon. Talk quietly while at the clinic and begin to relax while waiting.
All new patients start with an initial consultation with the doctor. You will be asked about your health history, medications that you are taking, diet, and issues you have been experiencing with your recent health. Your pulse will be taken along several meridian lines on your arm and your tongue will be examined. The doctor will consider all of this information and determine the best course of action for your unique situation. Your treatment plan may include acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbal medicine and/or other treatment methods. If a treatment is prescribed, your first session will be at this appointment.
Acupuncture and Other Treatments
Wear loose and comfortable clothing; most patients will remain fully clothed during treatment. If your treatment requires modest removal of clothing, sheets will be used to drape the body. Most treatments are conducted with the patient lying on a massage style table. The doctor will place many ultra fine needles into specific points on your body. You will feel a slight pressure as the needle goes through the skin. Most patients do not find this painful. You are asked to relax and the doctor leaves the room while you rest with the needles for 30-40 minutes. You may feel sleepy and extremely relaxed while the acupuncture needles are in place. When the treatment time is over, the needles are gently removed.
When your treatment is completed, you will return to the front desk area to pay and check-out. If herbs are part of your treatment plan, they will be prepared and waiting for you. You will be given instructions on how to take your herbs, it is important to follow all the dosing instructions. To be effective, acupuncture usually takes many treatment sessions to resolve your issue. The doctor will recommend a treatment schedule that is right for you. You may book your next appointment before you leave; many patients bring their calendar with them and schedule a block of appointments at one time.