First Visit - What To Expect?What to expect on your first visit at acupuncture Chinese medicine Melbourne?
If you never have acupuncture Chinese medicine treatment before, your first visit can be an interesting and potentially transformative experience. Here’s what you can generally expect during your first visit at Almond Wellness Centre Melbourne acupuncture Chinese medicine clinics:
Your practitioner will begin by asking you about your medical history, current health concerns, lifestyle, and any specific symptoms you may be experiencing. This is to understand your overall health and create a personalised treatment plan.
Your acupuncturist or Chinese medicine practitioner will likely ask you various questions:
- Medical history: We will inquire about any past and current medical conditions, surgeries, injuries, and chronic illnesses you may have experienced. We may also ask about medications you are currently taking or have taken in the past.
- Family history: Information about your immediate family’s medical history can be relevant as certain health conditions can have a genetic component.
- Chief complaints: Your main health concerns and symptoms will be a primary focus of discussion. We will ask about the duration and intensity of these symptoms and any factors that make them better or worse.
- Diagnoses and treatments: If you have been diagnosed or have any treatment for your complaints, we will want to know about it.
- General health: This may include your appetite, digestion, bowel movements, urination patterns, sleep quality, emotional state, energy levels, perspiration, stress levels, and exercise habits. For women we will ask question about your mensuration period, history of pregnancy/labor, etc. These details help the practitioner understand your body’s overall balance.
- Lifestyle: Information about your daily habits and lifestyle choices will be relevant. This can include your dietary habits, smoking and drinking history, exercise routine, and any other factors that might impact your health.
- Environmental factors: Your living and working conditions, exposure to toxins, and any significant changes in your life will be inquired about as they can have an influence on your health.
It’s essential to be honest and open during the consultation to ensure the best possible care and outcomes.
You practitioner may conduct a physical examination, which could involve checking your pulse, observing your tongue, and feeling certain areas of your body to assess any imbalances or blockages in the flow of energy (Qi) in your body.
- Physical testing: We may do specific physical tests to assess your condition and identify potential issues. For example, in the case of sciatica and back pain, we might conduct the Straight Leg Raising Test to check for nerve compression. For shoulder pain, the Painful Arc Test can help assess possible rotator cuff problems. Abdominal palpation may be used to evaluate the health of the gallbladder or detect signs of appendicitis or other digestive issues
- Pulse diagnosis: Pulse feeling, or pulse diagnosis, is one of the most significant diagnostic methods in TCM. It involves taking your pulse on both wrists and assessing its qualities, such as rate, rhythm, depth, width, and strength. TCM practitioners are trained to interpret the pulse characteristics to understand the flow of Qi (energy) in the meridians and the state of the internal organs. Each pulse quality corresponds to specific organ systems and can provide valuable information about imbalances and blockages in the body.
- Tongue inspection: The tongue is considered a mirror of the body’s internal health in TCM. During the examination, we will observe the colour, shape, coating, and moisture of your tongue. Certain tongue characteristics are associated with different organ systems, and changes in these characteristics can indicate potential health issues.
- Eyes and face observations: The eyes and face can reveal additional clues about a person’s health. We may observe the colour and brightness of the eyes, the complexion, and any specific facial signs that could be relevant to the diagnosis.
Based on the above information gathered your practitioner will provide a unique Chinese medicine Pattern Diagnosis. Our focus is on identifying imbalances and disharmonies in the body’s energy systems rather than specific diseases.
Chinese medicine treatment
We may recommend a treatment plan tailored according to the pattern diagnosis. This treatment plan may include one or more of the following therapies:
You may be asked to lie down comfortably on a treatment table for acupuncture. The practitioner will insert thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on your body. Acupuncture help balance the flow of Qi and promote healing.
Sensations: You may feel different sensations, such as a slight tingling, warmth, or heaviness around the acupuncture points. Thy are generally not painful and indicate the activation of Qi.
Relaxation: After the needles are in place, you’ll be encouraged to relax for around 15-30 minutes. Some people find this time very soothing and may even fall asleep during the treatment.
Acupressure is a therapy that involves applying pressure to specific acupuncture points using fingers, palms, elbows, or other tools. It works on the same principles as acupuncture but without the use of needles. Acupressure can be useful for pain relief.
3. Cupping Therapy
Cupping involves placing special cups on the skin to create a suction effect. This therapy is believed to promote blood circulation, relieve muscle tension, and facilitate healing. Cupping is commonly used for musculoskeletal issues and respiratory conditions, and can be used for relaxation.
4. Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine uses natural substances, such as roots, leaves, flowers, and minerals, to restore balance and address specific health concerns. The herbal formulas are customised according to the individual’s pattern diagnosis. Chinese herbal medicine can be prescribed in various forms, including raw herbs (decoctions), extracted herbal granules, patent herbal pills or capsules, and topical creams or ointments for external use.
5. Other Therapies
Depending on the practitioner’s expertise and your condition, other TCM therapies like moxibustion (burning of dried mugwort on or near acupuncture points), Gua Sha (scraping the skin), or Tui Na (Chinese therapeutic massage) might be incorporated into the treatment plan.
Duration of consultation and treatment
- 1st session: The first session may take longer than subsequent sessions, as your practitioner will need extra time to gather information and develop your treatment plan. It usually takes about one hour including the treatment time. In some more complicated cases may last over one and half hour.
- Subsequent visit: Following acupuncture treatment lasts 30 to 40 minutes or so. The Combination Treatment generally lasts at least 60 minutes.
The beneficial reaction usually starts during the first 4~5 visits. You may feel better straight away even just one visit.
- Physical exercises will be given for pain or injury management.
- Qigong or breathing exercises will be given or suggested for certain conditions
- You will also have dietary and lifestyle advice if necessary.
Throughout the session, you’re encouraged to communicate openly with your practitioner about any sensations or concerns you may have.
What can I do to increase my acupuncture treatment effect?
Please adhere to these essential guidelines for a smooth and effective acupuncture session:
- Be Punctual: It is crucial to arrive on time for your appointments to ensure a relaxed and full treatment session. If you need to reschedule, kindly provide at least 24 hours’ notice so that others can be accommodated.
- Avoid Heavy Meals: Eat at least one hour before your acupuncture appointment to avoid discomfort during the session. It’s best not to have acupuncture on an empty stomach either.
- Limit Intense Physical Activity: Refrain from engaging in intense physical exercises like running, gym workouts, or competitive games for at least one hour before your acupuncture treatment.
- Silence Your Phone: Ensure your mobile phone is turned off or set to silent mode before and during the treatment. This creates a peaceful environment for you and others in the clinic.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing: Opt for loose and comfortable attire to enhance your comfort during the session. Remember to empty your pockets before treatment.
- Practice Breath Exercises: Consider learning and practicing Dr. Richard Zeng (Acupuncture Chinese medicine)‘s breath exercises. These exercises can help improve the flow of Qi or energy in your body, contributing to a more beneficial treatment experience.
By following these guidelines, you can make the most of your acupuncture sessions and contribute to a harmonious and efficient healing process. Your cooperation will greatly support the effectiveness of your treatment and the experience of others at the clinic.