Every patient relationship starts with an Initial Visit. These appointments are approximately 75 minutes, which is longer than Follow-Up visits, and allow for full discussion of the patient’s primary concern as well as exploring their overall health and constitution.
One of the things I love most about practicing Integrative East Asian Medicine is that I am able to look at the whole person, not just the symptom(s), to get to the root cause of the issue and provide sustained relief as opposed to a temporary fix.
During an Initial Visit, I discuss the patient’s chief concern and then ask a series of whole-body questions to get a sense of the patient’s constitution and any other factors that may be contributing to their chief concern. I then look at the patient’s tongue and feel their pulse — this information is so informative within the East Asian Medicine paradigm that some practitioners don’t even ask the patient’s chief concern, they only look at tongue/pulse and treat from there, it’s that accurate!
Once I’ve completed the intake and tongue & pulse, I check-in with the patient about the treatment modalities I plan to do that day, answer any questions, and have the patient get on the table. Depending on the chief concern and other information I gather during the intake, I may do acupuncture only or acupuncture + other modalities such as moxibustion, cupping, or even bodywork — every initial treatment is customized to the individual patient.
If I’m doing an acupuncture-only, or acupuncture-first treatment, I put in between 2 and 6 points that I like to call “settling in” points which are meant to help regulate the nervous system and encourage the patient’s body to be receptive to the work we’ll be doing. The patient will lay comfortably on the table for 5-10 minutes with this first set of points and when I return I may add more points customized to the patient’s chief concern and/or constitution, or I may pull the needles and do some moxibustion, bodywork, or cupping. Typically during an Initial Visit, the patient receives about 30 minutes of acupuncture and/or bodywork.
After the Initial Visit, the patient will receive a Recommended Treatment Plan via email which will outline my proposed treatment plan to address their chief concern. This plan includes herbal formulation, nutrition and lifestyle, and even exercise recommendations (as relevant). I like to provide these Recommended Treatment Plans so that patients can see how we can best work together to achieve their health goals. These plans are recommendations and patients are empowered to do as much, or as little, of the plan as they desire. I partner with my patients to reach their health goals, I am not a drill sergeant who will force them to make changes they’re not ready for yet.
If you have questions about how Initial Appointments work or want to learn more, feel free to book a Complimentary 15-minute Consultation. If this was helpful and you’re ready to schedule, you can book your Initial Appointment.
I look forward to seeing you soon!