I will talk with you and examine you to get a good picture of your health and constitution, including gathering information about your health history, current symptoms, lifestyle, diet, and bodily functions. I will look at your tongue and feel your pulse on both wrists. I may also palpate your abdomen and along acupuncture channels on the arms and legs to check for sensitivity, reactivity, and tension in areas relevant to your diagnosis.
Using information from all these sources, I will choose which points to treat. In general, I treat people lying down on a massage table. Sometimes I will do a treatment on the back–especially if there is back pain–and you might lay on your stomach with your head in a face cradle. While the needles are in, I will leave you to relax by yourself for 15 to 30 minutes, coming in once or twice to check your pulse again and to stimulate the needles.
I may use other modalities, such as cupping, gua sha, or moxibustion, to enhance the effect of the treatment or as an alternative to needles if acupuncture is not appropriate for your condition.