Your First Visit
COVID-19 NOTE: Our first visit procedures have changed, as we are doing everything possible to keep you safe. For details on everything we’re doing at the clinic to minimize the risk of COVID-19, please click here.
Each new patient will have an online/phone appointment first (~75 minutes long). We’ll go through your intake questionnaire and ask you detailed questions about your medical history, symptoms, and general health.If you have any recent lab or imaging reports from other health providers that might be helpful, please bring them along, email them in advance, or invite us to view your secure hospital medical record online (MyChart and MyUHN both allow you to add a user for shared access. You can add firstname.lastname@example.org).
We’ll then do a traditional tongue diagnosis and ask if you have any questions or concerns about the treatment risks or benefits. If you are ready to proceed, you’ll sign the Consent to Treatment form. We’ll then propose a Treatment Plan made specifically for your own needs and history.
Depending on your goals, the Treatment Plan might include dietary, exercise, or lifestyle suggestions, herbal prescriptions, self-acupressure protocols, meditations, or more. We’ll also talk about how often you should have follow-up appointments, how long the follow-ups should be, and how many should be in-person versus phone/online sessions. (Our goal is to minimize your risk while maximizing the benefits you’ll get from treatment.)
Coming to the Clinic
After our initial phone/online intake, if we decide that you need a combination of online and in-person sessions, you will come in for your first visit to the clinic. Please click here before your appointment to learn all our COVID-19 procedures, how to prepare for your in-person visit, and all the safety and hygiene procedures we’ll be following.
We’ll take your pulse and may also check your abdomen. You are welcome to ask questions at any point before or during the treatment, and if you ever feel uncomfortable, you can withdraw your consent to treatment anytime. For those who are nervous about needles, we’ll start with very thin needles and gentle treatment. You’ll probably be surprised how painless it is!
A few more notes for your first in-person clinical treatment:
- To make it easier, you may want to wear loose clothes such as sweatpants, shorts, or tank top, so that you can get right on the table.
- It’s best not to have acupuncture on a complete empty stomach, if possible. Try to have a light snack or meal within 2 hours of your appointment.
- Please do your best to be punctual, and we will do the same!
What to Expect AFTER the First Visit
If this is your first time getting acupuncture, you might notice feeling relaxed or a bit sleepy after the treatment. This is normal. If you need to drive, you might want to wait a bit before leaving. Let us know if you want some water to drink.
In terms of results, some people have a big reaction after the first treatment, but most people will notice gradual change after several treatments. 6-10 treatments is a typical number of sessions in the first series, and then we reassess your progress after that. Progress is usually up and down instead of a straight line upward, so when it dips back down, try not ot get too discouraged. As long as the overall trend is in the right direction, that’s a good sign that we’re making progress.