From your second onward, acupuncture treatments move your energy in the direction of vitality, harmony and balance. Your practitioner monitors your response to treatment by talking with you at the start of each visit and by taking your pulses before, during and at the end of treatment. Pulse-taking in acupuncture is not the same as taking your radial pulse in Western medicine. The process is similar in that your practitioner takes your hand in theirs, but they are listening to and feeling for different qualities. Your pulse “picture” provides the truest assessment of your health, guiding your treatment plan and helping to evaluate your progress over time.
Working with their clinical supervisor, your practitioner will determine which acupuncture points to use for your treatment. The Five Element tradition believes in effecting maximum change in a person’s qi through using as few needles as possible.
- Practitioners may choose only three to five points to needle
- Moxa is often used on a point prior to needling
- The point will be cleaned and the needle inserted.
- Most often the needle is promptly removed, not left in the point for lengthy periods of time.
Relax and let your practitioner do their work. Sometimes your practitioner will ask for information about what you are experiencing in the moment. Along with pulse-taking, this information is helpful in gauging the progress of the treatment. Your pulses will be taken again after all of the points have been needled.
Most people benefit the most by coming weekly at the start of treatment. As your health improves and stabilizes, treatments are scheduled less frequently. The emphasis shifts to preventive treatment once the health goals are met. This means coming seasonally for “tune-up” treatments to help you maintain health and well-being.