If you’ve just scheduled your first treatment at Wu’s Healing Center – welcome!
Many of our clients are new to Traditional Chinese Medicine or any kind of alternative medical treatment. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call, fax questions in advance, or ask a staff member at the clinic. To prepare you for your first visit, here’s a brief overview of what to expect:
1. Before Your Visit
Please abstain from alcohol, coffee, and other drugs for 24 hours before a treatment. However, you may take any normally prescribed medication.
Your stomach should be neither empty nor full before a treatment. If it’s been a long time since you’ve eaten, you may eat a light snack before your appointment.
2. Medical History
After checking in, you will be asked to fill in forms detailing your complete medical history. Please provide background on the condition for which you seek Dr. Wu’s assistance — including Western diagnosis, duration, previous treatments, medications, and results — as well as other medical conditions as indicated.
Women seeing Dr. Wu for fertility enhancement should bring the results of any hormone-level tests (FSH/LH etc.) taken within three months.
3. In the Treatment Room
After you’ve completed the medical history forms, a staff member will escort you to one of the clinic’s 10 treatment rooms. There you may disrobe (leaving undergarments on if you like) and lie down on the treatment table, covering yourself with the drape provided. Rest on your back, with your feet under the heat lamp, and the cushions provided under your neck and knees. Relax, focusing on your breath, and a staff member will return shortly.
Before you consult with Dr. Wu, a staff member will talk with you about your health. On your first visit, you may wish to discuss aspects of your general medical history.
Afterward — and on subsequent visits to the clinic — a staff member will ask you a series of questions focused on your immediate health, including how your last treatment went, the status of your major complaint, new or recurring pains, sensations of heat or cold, thirst, headaches or dizziness, bowel movements and urination, gynecological health/menstrual patterns, sleep, and emotional state. The staff member also may ask you to estimate your energy level on a scale up to 100 percent.
From a Western medical perspective, many of these questions may not seem to apply to your primary complaint. However, from a Chinese medical perspective — focused on your total health — your answers reveal important patterns that help Dr. Wu diagnose and treat your condition. Over time, you will come to recognize your own patterns and understand the significance of various measures used in the clinic, from sleep and thirst to the regularity of bowel movements.
5. Preparatory Treatment
After sharing the results of your intake with Dr. Wu and receiving any special instructions, a staff member will begin the “prep” portion of your treatment. This process may include brief acupressure, specific acupressure, visualization techniques, breathing exercises, cupping, and/or moxabustion.
6. Treatment by Dr. Wu
Following preparation, Dr. Wu will review your intake chart, following up on specific conditions or complaints. She also may feel your pulses (on both wrists) and examine your tongue — both important indicators in Chinese medical diagnosis. Based on your condition, Dr. Wu will apply acupuncture needles of various lengths at different points along your body’s “meridians” to stimulate, clear, or redirect energy. She will instruct you in a breathing technique to minimize any pain or anxiety associated with receiving needles. This technique also activates the effectiveness of the acupuncture.
Once Dr. Wu has applied needles, you’ll be asked to rest quietly for a while, remaining still and relaxing, breathing in and appreciating your body.
If you feel minor discomfort during your treatment, try focusing your breath on the point of pain until the discomfort diminishes. If your discomfort is severe, ring the bell placed by you on the treatment table and a staff member will assist you.
While your needles are in place, a staff member may visit to change “moxa” — a Chinese herb that may be burned on certain needles to “warm” a specific acupuncture point.
7. Following Treatment
A timer will be set during your treatment. When the timer goes off, a staff member will return to remove your needles. Take a moment to relax after treatment, then dress and return to the reception area. Be sure to drink 3 small cups of warm water to help your body maximize the benefits of treatment. Then you can check out, schedule your next treatment, and pick up any herbal remedies prescribed by Dr. Wu.