What to Know
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST OFFICE VISIT
After you have completed your New Patient Intake paperwork, you will see the medical provider you are scheduled with for your intake visit. The initial intake will have anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to address what your specific needs are and how we can help you. After your medical intake visit, you will be given the opportunity to receive treatment, which will take the remainder of the appointment.
After your first appointment, you will usually spend at least ten minutes with your provider to discuss a plan for future care and follow-up.
Food & Beverage
Please make sure you have had something to eat before you come in. If you are a caffeine drinker, try not to have any, for at least an hour before your visit as it can make you more sensitive to the needles and it can make it harder to sit still & relax. Please make sure you drink water prior to your appointment.
For acupuncture, we recommend wearing loose clothing that you can push up above your elbows and up above your knees.
For medical massage therapy, you may disrobe to your comfort level.
Your first acupuncture appointment will take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Your first medical massage appointment will begin at the scheduled time.
Please arrive here earlier than your scheduled appointment time if you still need to fill out paperwork.
Please bring your insurance card with you as we will check your integrative medicine benefits, as a complementary service. If you do not have insurance, or benefits through your insurance, we have a number of other options available, including a sliding fee scale for those who qualify. These options will be explained in more detail at your first appointment.
Please complete the Medical Intake Form prior to your appointment for us to check your benefits.
YOUR ACUPUNCTURE EXPERIENCE
Whether you have had Acupuncture before or this is your first time experiencing this ancient medicine, you may be curious about what your experience will be like at AIM Health. We have created a unique healing space here that is very comfortable and relaxing.
It is also very different from many other Acupuncture clinics, so even for those of you who have experienced Acupuncture clients, there are some differences worth pointing out. For more information on how we are different, please see The AIM Health Difference.
Our Acupuncturists practice primarily Orthopedic. This style has proven to be very quick and effective at alleviating your symptoms, while also being very comfortable and allowing you to be fully clothed during your treatments. After your initial medical intake, you will be taken to a private treatment room with a massage table. This is a healing space, so please respect those around you and be as quiet as possible, ensuring that everyone gets the most out of their treatments. Please take off your shoes and socks and roll your pants and sleeves up to the level of your knees and elbows.
A typical Acupuncture treatment will usually entail the Acupuncturist inserting the needles at various points on your forearms and lower legs. The insertion of the needles will only take a few minutes. The needles go into your skin about 1/8th of an inch and are left in for between 25-45 minutes. The sensations caused by the needles can vary. Upon inserting the needles, you may feel a slight pinch or even nothing at all. There should be no pain or sharp sensation that does not diminish within a few seconds. If any of the points ache or tingle or throb that means that they are working hard to make you feel better so try to just relax and take some deep breaths while the sensation subsides. Should any point be too tender or uncomfortable make sure to tell your Acupuncturist so they can adjust the needle or remove it to ensure an effective and relaxing treatment for you. During your treatment, we encourage you to just relax and envision yourself fully healed, unencumbered by any health concerns that you may be having. The mind is a powerful tool, which can aid in healing and in breaking the habits and thought patterns that may be contributing to your present maladies, so why not use it?
An Acupuncturist or office staff member will check on you during your acupuncture treatment. We will usually be very quiet so as not to disturb you, but if you are uncomfortable or need assistance do not hesitate to let us know how we can help you. We also have call buttons available for all of our clients in the event that you may need our assistance when we are not in the room. When your treatment is over, the Acupuncturist will come in and remove your needles using a cotton ball to press lightly on the points as the needles are removed and placed into a biohazard container. Needle removal is usually painless. At times there may be slight redness around a point even after the needle is removed, this is a good sign that the point was needed! Occasionally, there may be a small drop of blood that comes up after the needle is withdrawn, and we will apply pressure for a moment or two to assure that the bleeding has stopped. Less likely, you may experience a slight bruise around a point if the needle has hit a capillary or small blood vessel, which will usually be painless and resolve within 2-4 days.
Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins in your body during and after a treatment. These endorphins help to decrease pain, boost immunity and give you an overall sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Many people will fall asleep during their treatments, while almost everyone will sink into a state of deep relaxation. (Believe it or not, you may start craving your next Acupuncture treatment for the unique feeling and benefits you get.) After your treatment, it is a good idea to drink plenty of water to help your body flush out toxins and process the treatment. You may resume all of your normal activities, including driving, immediately after your Acupuncture appointment, though you should be mindful that a painful condition may feel much better after a treatment and you may need to guard against doing too much and re-aggravating your symptoms. Minimizing alcohol and caffeine for the rest of the day will also help to support your treatment outcomes. Keep up with any self-care instructions your Acupuncturist may give you, remember to take your herbs regularly, and enjoy the road to better health and wellness.