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What to Expect...

What to wear...
Be comfortable during your treatment: both men and women can bring loose shorts and a sleeveless loose shirt to wear while being treated. If you prefer or forget to bring your treatment clothes- I have cloth gowns and large comfy towels to drape you with. Please remember to always bring clothing appropriate to the weather for after the treatment- being exposed to cold, damp, or wind, etc., can make a treatment less effective.

What happens during the first treatment?
We will go over your intake form and I will ask questions to clarify anything that is necessary. You will go into the treatment room and change. The first thing I will do is check your reflexes. This is generally a tummy check to see how you are running today (i.e. immunity, stagnation, organs, structural issues), you will report on the sensations you feel (tight, tender, painful, tickly, numb, normal) as I press I'll chart the results. The tongue and the pulse will also give me further coroboration on my findings in the hara. I'll also check your 'fire' points. These are points on the meridians that can be tender if there are issues anywhere along the meridians. These issues can include inflammation, tightness, constriction or blockage from scar tissue etc.. All of these things can have a profound influence on your health. Lastly I will carefully check your chief complaint and mark the tight or tender area's if applicable. I will then locate points to clear the reflexes and you will tell me when I have got it right. You'll know that because any discomfort you felt when I first pressed will be greatly reduced or gone altogether. Generally there is a front and a back treatment, but on occaision one side might be enough for the first time. I am very careful with first time acupuncture patients. With some people more is less! I'll let you relax with the needles in and then come to remove them after approximately 10 to 15 minutes. I generally keep only to Acupuncture for the first session and don't include other modalities. I may add other modalities in successive treatments if they are appropriate and helpful.

What happens after the treatment?
After the treatment you will want to be 'quiet' for a while. Relax and let yourself rest. All healing happens in the state of rest and digest. Too much thinking, stress, anger, or even stimulation can knock you right out of your healing state, lessening the effectiveness of the treatment. Make sure that you drink plenty of room temperature water (hot is ok if you are not overheated- but cold puts stress on the body). Follow any directions that you have been given, such as to put heat on the condition, or to cut sugar intake in half...

Some people can have relief from their symptoms for a few hours, and then the symptoms can come back, although generally they are less severe when they do come back. This does NOT mean that the treatment has failed- acupuncture is cumulative. Each treatment is like opening a window and allowing symptom free or lessened symptom time, each successive treatment generally opens the window a bit wider and for a bit longer. Eventually that window stays open and the symptoms recede altogether. How long this takes depends on the severity of the condition, how long you have had it, and any perpetuating factors in your life (things that may keep the condition coming back). I will help you to identify and change those pesky factors so you can reclaim your life.

Some people leave with some symptoms left, and then they clear further thru the rest of the day. Another reaction can be something called a 'healing crisis'. This is when all of the symptoms (but ABSOLUTELY no new ones) come back worse than they were, for a period of no more than 12 to 24 hours. Then when they recede there is marked improvement in the conditions that stays improved. Personally I don't think you have to suffer to get better- so this is something I generally don't go for. But it is good to know that it may happen so that you are prepared in case it does. Some patients can have a few days of relief right off the bat and that is very encouraging. In these cases when the symptoms do come back they are generally less severe and have a decreased duration when they do occur.

What happens in subsequent treatments?
In subsequent treatments we do a quick assessment of your reaction to the last treatment. This helps me tailor the best possible treatment for you moving forward. I will look at your reflexes to see how they have changed and balance out your system again so that the treatment holds- then I'll zero in on your concerns. If additional modalities are indicated I will use them as they are appropriate. Most patients are onions- layers that have to be addressed before the underlying layers become aparent. Some new injuries, or simple cases do exist however and these are much simpler and require fewer treatments. I have had a few patients that only required one or two treatments.

Do the needles hurt?
SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/toniking/Desktop/Website%20stuff%20to%20open%20new%20website.docMost people are used to Western style needles used to "give shots". These needles are nothing like acupuncture needles. Western style needles have an angled tip that tears at the skin and has a hole in the tip; it's designed this way so that it can deliver a payload of some type of medication, or vaccine. They are hollow and have to have a pretty wide diameter to accomplish this. All of these factors when taken together mean that a western style needle can be pretty painful.

The needles used in acupuncture are hair thin. They are sterile needles that are disposed of after one use. They have a rounded, pointed tip that is designed to cause the minimum amount of discomfort. They do not have holes in them and are not hollow. They inject nothing into you. Most people don't even feel them going in-although some sensations are desirable.

I am known for being good with new and nervous patients. I have a few needle phobic patients who do very well with the treatments. Don't let a fear of needles stop you from trying acupuncture, most people find the treatments relaxing and the rewards eminently worth it.

A lot of my patients are so relaxed during a treatment that they fall asleep right on the table!

How many treatments will it take?
No one can accurately predict exactly how many sessions will be needed for any one patient. I generally ask patients to try 5 weeks of 1 to 2 treatments a week, depending on length and severity of the condition they suffer from. Even a deeply entrenched condition will generally begin to change by the end of 5 weeks- letting you know that Acupuncture is going to work for you. Some kind of change is generally felt within the very first session, however- and there have been some lucky patients who have had their issues resolved with one or two treatments! Deeply entrenched conditions may take longer than 5 weeks to resolve. Chronic issues such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, or Crohn's do best with initial treatments grouped together until symptoms subside, and then we will work together to discover how often a maintenance treatment is needed to keep you feeling good. Some patients then come just once or twice a year when they feel the need for a "tune-up". Neuropathy and Radiculopathy symptoms respond particularly well to acupuncture.

What to Expect... -

What to Expect... -

Toni M King MS LAc, NCCAOM Dipl. Ac