Your First Visit
We recommend choosing an initial session of 90 minutes for most new patients. Your initial appointment will include the TCM assessment, medical history, treatment plan discussion and (time-permitting) an actual acupuncture session.
For some simple issues such as acute pain, an initial visit of 60-75 minutes (including treatment) is occasionally fine as well.
For herbal consultations only (without acupuncture/cupping/bodyworketc.), please book at least 30 minutes for your initial session.
Standard New Patient Visit
Before your visit, we will ask you to complete a health questionnaire and a few forms in advance, to save time during your actual appointment. If you have any recent lab or imaging reports from other health providers, When you come for your visit, please enter the reception area and take a seat to wait for me. I will come to reception and bring you to a private treatment room. We will chat for awhile, to complete a thorough Traditional Chinese Medicine intake. I will take your medical history, review your current health problems, allergies, medications, family history, etc., and perform a TCM assessment and diagnosis consisting of questions and a physical examination, including looking at your tongue and pulse and pressing on your abdomen.
You are welcome to ask questions at any point, and I will ask for your formal consent before starting any treatment. Your consent can be withdrawn at any time and you never have to proceed with treatment if you feel uncomfortable.
I then formulate a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs and history. Treatment plan recommendations will include length and frequency of visits, possible dietary modifications, exercises, lifestyle counselling, herbal prescriptions, self-care recommendations (e.g. home acupressure, moxibustion or meditation), etc.
Cancer-related New Patient Visit
Patients currently awaiting or undergoing treatment for a diagnosis of cancer have a similar intake process, but may be asked to fill out additional forms. In preparation for your first visit, if you are not already a patient at the Marsden Centre, I ask that you obtain copies of all relevant diagnostic assessments (imaging reports, pathology reports, blood work reports) along with recent consult notes. These can normally be provided by requesting this information from your oncologist’s reception or the hospital records department. If possible, please fax (905-508-4827) or email these reports to me ahead of our visit so I have a chance to review them in advance, thereby expediting your first visit.
If you are unable to get copies of these reports before your first visit, you will be asked to sign an authorization for release of your clinical file information from your treating oncologist/hospital. If your hospital has an electronic medical record system, you may also “invite” me by email to have electronic access to the records. This provides a convenient way for me to keep up to date on your tests and results as we continue to work together, and of course I keep the information strictly confidential.
If you are already a Marsden Centre patient, reception will ask you to fill out a shorter set of Traditional Chinese Medicine intake forms, as some of your information is already on file. You will be asked to sign a consent form to allow our practitioners to access your existing naturopathic medicine files.
First visit checklist
- If you wish to have a free 15 minute consultation first, please complete this free consultation request form.
- Book your first session (usually 90 minutes, including treatment). To book your appointment, call 416-890-7770, email us.
- Complete electronic intake forms in advance of your appointment, or arrive 20 minutes early to complete the paper forms.
- Send in your lab/imaging/consult note reports in advance, if possible, or bring them with you.
- Wear loose clothes such as shorts and a tank top, if possible.
- It is best not to have acupuncture on a completely empty stomach. Before your appointment, it is best to have a light snack or meal within the previous 1-2 hours.
- Please do your best to be punctual, and I will do the same!
What to Expect AFTER the first visit
Follow up treatments are typically 45-60 minutes including acupuncture. I will tell you your recommended treatment plan (frequency, length, etc.) at your initial consultation, because it depends on your situation.
How often you should come back depends on your problems and goals. In the initial stage, for certain problems, getting acupuncture as often as 3 times per week to once every 2 weeks may be recommended. More frequent visits allow the treatment effects to build on each other and we often see rapid improvements in this time. Usually an initial course of 6 treatments close together (at least weekly) is best, to get momentum on the issue and assess if your condition responds to acupuncture or not. The frequency is spaced out to a “maintenance” frequency after we achieve your initial goals.
Herbal-only follow up consultations (and prescriptions) may be 15-30 minutes in length, and once every 1-4 weeks (more frequently at the beginning, and then longer and longer as your condition stabilizes).