I typically allow 90 minutes for an initial office visit during which we will discuss your complaint and do a comprehensive Chinese medical intake and examination. In Chinese medicine any complaint must be understood within the context of the individual as a whole.
I generally begin with having you stand with your back to me. I then put my hand lightly on the top of your head with very slight downward pressure. This is called “general listening”. The body curls around the place of greatest struggle at the time, indicating the area to be addressed during that session. An example of a similar kind of thing happens when you have a “stitch” in your side & you curl around it. I will be doing similar “listenings” from your head & feet throughout the treatment so that your body’s intelligence can guide me. Next, I will take your pulse, palpate your abdomen, and examine your tongue. I generally prefer to do my manual examination first so that I have as few preconceptions as possible as to what I should be feeling.
Then, we will sit down together are discuss the reason for your visit. I will ask you a variety of questions about your general health that might include questions about your sleep patterns, digestion and emotional state. This combination of examination and interview will will provide me with a picture of your health and any patterns of disharmony in your body.
Some patients elect to receive only acupuncture or only herbal medicine but most patients receive both. If Chinese herbal medicine is an appropriate modality for you, we generally begin with that modality first. If you will be doing both acupuncture and herbal medicine, there may or may not be time for acupuncture during this first visit. Our primary goal during this time will be to arrive at a Chinese medical diagnosis, to construct a treatment plan that is workable for you and to answer any questions you may have.