What to Expect

Initial Assessment

  • Make sure to eat something light an hour or two before arriving
  • Wear loose fitting clothes
  • Bring a list of medications you are taking

Your first visit will begin with an in-depth assessment of your condition and an initial treatment. The intake and treatment will take an hour. Typical follow-up treatments last approximately 45-50 minutes.

During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Chinese Medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. Chinese Medicine is unique in that it always takes into consideration that while illnesses may seem to be identical, the persons suffering from them are individuals.


Needles are typically retained for about 30 minutes total. Soothing music will be played to help you relax during this time - many people even fall asleep during treatment!

What to Expect After Treatment

Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies. The effect of acupuncture is cumulative; each treatment builds on the one before.

Course of Treatment

As part of your first visit, we will discuss the appropriate course of treatment for your specific condition. In general, acute conditions of recent onset may only require two or three treatments. Chronic conditions usually require more treatments to achieve sustained results.

The ideal approach to illness is to begin treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the easier it is to treat. For longstanding illnesses, weekly treatments may be required for several months in order to have a curative effect.

Once you initiate a healing process, it is important to follow through on treatments. The more consistent you are, the better the likelihood of results. As mentioned above, the effects of acupuncture tend to be cumulative.