Each patient is a unique case, so treatments will vary from person to person, although I will usually utilize more than one therapy during a treatment session (acupuncture and heat, acupuncture and cupping, etc.) I like to keep the patient informed about my treatment approach before they even lay on the treatment table. Communication is key and it helps develop a good rapport.
Everybody responds to acupuncture differently, and it is difficult to talk about specific results/outcomes. Many conditions require a course of 6-10 treatments to address imbalances in the body. Some patients may respond well with fewer visits, while others may need a longer series. (This depends on the severity and the chronic nature of the chief complaint.) Because acupuncture treatments work on momentum, twice a week is twice as effective! Although this is not always feasible for patients, a steady course of treatments close together is still optimal.
Adult acupuncture - new patient evaluation: Allow 70 minutes for the initial meeting, which includes the intake process and treatment session with acupuncture needles and/or other therapies. The intake paper work and conversation helps me to understand your health picture, lifestyle, and specific goals. I will outline the course of treatment (length and frequency) and make recommendations for follow up and self-care strategies.
Adult follow up appointments: Subsequent appointments are 50 minutes and the intake process is quicker. I will be monitoring progress of symptoms and noting improvements in condition.
Manual therapy-focused appointments: I offer patients 30-minute sessions utilizing cupping andtuina massage, a form of Chinese-style massage that can ease pain and stiffness. This style of massage focuses on increasing blood flow and improving mobility through repetitive massage techniques and stretching. I use acupuncture as well, specifically head and ear points.
Private group treatments: Community-style treatment for you and your friend, family member, co-worker or other individual. An option for patients who want to make their own group at times outside of the regularly scheduled hours for group treatments at Montavilla Community Acupuncture.
Pediatric acupuncture - new patient evaluation: Allow up to 50 minutes for the initial visit, which includes a review of intake paper work and current symptoms, followed by a session that may include some or all of the following therapies: shonishin, a specialized treatment method for infants and young children that uses specific tools; tuina massage; and moxa, a Chinese herb that is heated and used indirectly on regions of the body (especially beneficial for ear infections and digestive disturbances).
Pediatric follow up appointments: Subsequent appointments are 30 minutes, with a short intake and review of symptom progress.
Herbal/nutritional consultations: The herbal consultations are 30-minute appointments that focus on treating specific conditions without using acupuncture; a brief intake and conversation helps pin point symptoms and clarifies the clinical diagnosis. For those considering nutritional/dietary changes, a 30-minute consultation will involve discussion of current dietary habits and ways to use food as a therapeutic tool to help improve digestion and meet the body's nutritional needs.
Herbal medicine: An acute condition, such as a UTI or digestive upset, may warrant an immediate prescription, however I generally like to see how a patient responds to an acupuncture treatment first before recommending a course of herbs. I would also consider nutritional changes and supplements as part of the overall treatment plan, but this too depends on a patient's therapeutic progress (or lack thereof).
If you wish to learn more about Chinese medicine and the methods that practitioners utilize, take a look at the new patient handout.