Given the nature of treatment being to treat the root cause of any issue or condition you are experiencing, a full traditional diagnosis is made by taking a full health history at your first visit.
You will be asked questions about your symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleep, appetite and digestion, and your emotional well-being. Some questions may appear unrelated to your condition, but your answers allow for a complete picture of your health and any imbalances in your body’s energy (or Qi) to be established, allowing for more tailored treatment to be conducted; you are likely to find treatment benefits more than your main complaint. Pulses on both wrists will be taken and your tongue will also be looked at - pulse and tongue diagnosis playing a crucial part in putting together the picture of any imbalances in your body's vital energy.
The needles are commonly placed into the arms and / or legs, so wearing loose clothing that can be rolled up is useful, otherwise a treatment gown will be provided for you to wear and this will be the case if the initial treatment involves points on your back being treated too. You’ll be asked to relax on the treatment couch and here the relaxation really starts as your Qi is gently brought into balance through the gentle insertion of extremely fine, single use, sterile needles into areas of the body that it’s disharmony is causing you issues. Patients are often surprised at how slight the sensation, termed DeQi, really is and usually find treatment extremely relaxing.
Non-Needling treatments may also form part of your ongoing treatment, complimenting Acupuncture or used as a standalone treatment.
Moxibustion: heat is applied to an acupuncture point using moxa (a therapeutic herb) to warm and relax muscles and tonify the internal energy (qi).
Tuina: Chinese therapeutic massage relieves muscle tension, stimulates acupressure points and opens energy meridians to stimulate the flow of qi.
Cupping: glass cups with a vacuum seal are placed on the skin to stimulate blood flow and clear stagnant qi.
Guasha: vigorous rubbing of the skin increases blood flow and clears stagnant qi.