Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered holistic healthcare and has been used by Chinese practitioners for thousands of years. This practice focuses on natural treatment methods to enhance the capabilities of the body to heal itself.
According to a study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, TCM aims to balance the patient’s mind and body through therapies which include:
- Acupuncture – the use of thin and sterile needles that are inserted into the skin which may stimulate the body’s function.
- Cupping – this therapy consists of heated glass cups that are applied to the skin to create a suction that can stimulate the flow of energy.
- Herbal medicine – the use of healing medicinal plants.
Before trying acupuncture
Before choosing an acupuncturist for the first time, you may want to ask for recommendations from people who have tried it before. You may also want to google a few in your area and look at their websites and social media to get a feel for their personality and way of practicing.
Your first visit to an acupuncturist
During this visit, your practitioner will ask many questions about your condition and general health and wellbeing. He or she will then have a thorough understanding of your discomfort, pain and other health concerns. This is also the time when the practitioner will plan the action for your treatment.
This typically involves a casual conversation with your acupuncturists about your sleeping and eating habits, general health, emotional wellbeing and medical history. The practitioner may also ask you about your menstrual cycle and past pregnancies.
After your introduction, the practitioner will now do an assessment. This will involve several activities which include checking your pulse, colour, and coating of your tongue, and a quick physical examination if necessary.
After the assessment, your acupuncturist will recommend a personalised treatment based on your condition and health concerns. This treatment may also include some lifestyle and dietary changes as well as additional TCM therapies on top of your acupuncture treatment. In this time, be clear about your expectations to see if this therapy is a good option for you.
Your initial treatment
For your initial appointment, you may need to wear loose-fitting clothing that allows for free movement and access to your lower legs and upper arms. It is also recommended that you only eat a light meal beforehand, because it is hard to relax when you are full.
Be sure to tell your practitioner that it is your first time receiving acupuncture so they can explain the process, while also tailoring the process to suit your needs.