What to Expect at Your First Appointment
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
- Skip the coffee, hydrate, and eat some protein within 2 hours of your appointment. Both dehydration and low blood sugar can cause patients to feel light-headed during or after their treatment and may increase sensitivity to the needle sensation. Coffee interferes with the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain relief.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Pants should be loose enough to be easily pulled above the knee. Feel free to bring a change of pants to the office if this is more convenient. We are happy to use sheets to drape you if you need to remove tight clothing when you arrive for your appointment.
- Please come prepared to pay for your treatment with cash, check, or card. To use insurance, you need to have submitted your insurance information ahead of time (so we can check your benefits).
- Complete your new patient paperwork online! Within your appointment confirmation email there is a link that will take you to the online paperwork (nothing to print). If you have any questions, please email us.
- Ideally, do not brush your tongue or eat colored candy/foods that stain (e.g. beets) prior to your appointment, but don’t worry if you forget.
- Unplug: Plan to put all your electronic devices into airplane mode before you enter the treatment room. This helps you to be present and receive the full benefits of your appointment.
- New Patient Intake: At your first appointment, we will go through your intake paperwork and ask you detailed questions about your health concerns, health history, current symptoms, diet, and lifestyle. This will take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
- Pulse Check: When we feel your pulse, we are feeling for much more than just heart rate. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, your internal organs each have a unique resonance that can be felt in your pulse. The organs are mapped onto different positions on each wrist as a microsystem of the body. We are assessing the rate, strength, depth, and quality of your pulse in 6 different positions (3 on each side). This takes several minutes and helps to reach an accurate diagnosis and to track your improvement.
- Tongue Check: This may seem strange initially, but then it becomes fun to check out how your tongue changes day-to-day! The tongue gives us a sense of your internal state. Different areas of the tongue represent different areas of the body. We assess the shape, color, coating, texture, and any lines or cracks on your tongue. We also look at the veins underneath your tongue (Hint: dark and distended veins under the tongue indicate stagnation or stuck energy. If you notice this on your tongue, go exercise with some intensity and recheck your tongue when you finish— the veins should look smaller and lighter.)
- Acupuncture Treatment: It is normal to be anxious at your first treatment but there is nothing to fear. Insertion of needles is usually painless, and any minor discomfort is momentary. Generally, an acupuncture treatment requires the needles to be retained between 15 and 40 minutes. During that time you can nap, listen to music or a guided meditation, or enjoy some silence. We may include moxa, or other modalities before, during, or after the acupuncture portion of your treatment. You will enjoy all the luxury comforts of the Amaluna Clinic.
- Please feel free to ask questions at any time during your appointment, however, out of respect for all patients, appointment times will not be extended.
- Payment and scheduling your next appointment. Payment is due at the time of service unless insurance payment has been arranged. We accept Apple pay, cash, personal check, and all major credit and debit cards.
We recommend drinking plenty of water and taking it easy for a few hours after your treatment. Strenuous physical exercise is best done before your treatment and not directly after. It is perfectly normal to feel any of the following after your appointments:
- Relaxed or “spacey”. We playfully call this “acu-stoned” as it can be a euphoric sensation. You might want to sit down and drink some water before driving if you feel this way.
- Energized. Treatments can stimulate energy flow within you leaving you feeling clear-headed, sharp, and invigorated.
- Sore. It is possible you may experience some soreness at sites of insertion or in joints or muscles post-treatment, particularly if the treatment was for pain control. Tenderness should subside within 24 hours.
- Side Effects: More information on common acupuncture side effects.
- Treatment Plan: You will receive an email within 48 hours of your first appointment with a PDF in-depth treatment plan. We will make recommendations for lifestyle and diet changes, as well as supplements/herbal products to support your healing process.
- Detailed Post-Acu Care PDF for new patients
For Functional Medicine:
Before Your Session
Complete your new patient paperwork online. Within your appointment confirmation email there is a link to the online paperwork. If you have any questions, feel free to email us.
Email or fax lab work. If you have lab work you’d like Dr. Caite to review (recommended), please email email@example.com, fax 855-600-2830 or print and bring it to your first appointment. We prefer you email or fax to save paper.
During Your Session
Dr. Caite will ask a lot of questions. You will sit down together or Dr. Caite will call you at your scheduled time. She will ask what your goals are for your work together. She will take you through a detailed health history and ask you about meds, supplements, symptoms, diet, lifestyle, habits, etc.
Physical Exam or Tongue Check. Dr. Caite will do a brief physical exam if it’s relevant to your symptoms and you’re in the office, and she will check your tongue and pulse to help pick an appropriate Chinese herbal formula if indicated. For distance consults, Dr. Caite may ask you to send a photo of your tongue.
Please feel free to ask questions at any time during your appointment, however, out of respect for all patients, appointment times will not be extended.
After Your Session
Payment and scheduling your next appointment. Payment is due at the time of service. We accept cash, personal check, and all major credit and debit cards. We will schedule your next appointment.
Treatment Plan. After your initial appointment, Dr. Caite will write up an in-depth treatment plan. This will include recommendations for nutrition, supplements, vitamins, herbs, adjunctive therapies, referrals, lab work, lifestyle and habit changes, and more. She will email you this PDF 24-48 hours before your follow-up appointment.
Follow-ups. During your first follow-up session, we will go through your treatment plan. Dr. Caite will answer questions, explain the way all of your symptoms fit together, and make any adjustments needed. You can pick up herbs and supplements and schedule testing (if recommended) at this time. For non-local patients, you will be emailed access to the online pharmacy where you can order recommended products. We will ship you any needed test kits with instructions for getting labs done.
The contents of this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this site is or should be considered or used as a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please schedule an appointment for personalized health advice.