For your initial consultation, the acupuncturist needs to assess your general health. You will be asked about your current symptoms and any treatment you've received so far. It is also important to gather detailed information about your medical history and that of your family, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. The purpose is to identify what needs to be addressed in order to target your specific complaint, and to boost your overall vitality.
Stimulation of specific areas affects the functioning of various organs. However, those areas may not be close to the part of the body where you are experiencing a problem. For example, if you suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted into your foot or hand. There are 365 specific acupuncture points on the body, and an unlimited number of non-specific points. An experienced acupuncturist will use a selection of these for each session. Often during the course of a few sessions, different points will be selected as your condition changes. Other techniques, such as electro-acupuncture, massage, or tapping with a rounded probe, are particularly suitable for small children or for people with a fear of needles.
An acupuncture session is a time of relaxation for most people. You will lie face up or down depending on the condition for which you are being treated. Many treatment rooms are equipped to play relaxing music or sounds.