Your First Acupuncture Treatment

Dr. Lauren Dyer

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Hooray! You scheduled your first Acupuncture appointment! Now what?

Or maybe you haven’t yet. If you are reading this, you might be considering it because only you’re tired of not feeling like yourself—of being in pain, feeling anxious, depressed, unable to sleep, and the list goes on. Maybe you are tired of hopping from physician to physician and not getting any answers. Maybe the closest you’ve come to an “answer” is to take a pill, get that surgery, and hope for the best.

If you are done trying all of the “quick fixes” (or would rather avoid them altogether) and want to try something more natural that gives you lasting relief, Acupuncture would be a great fit for you. That is why I am writing this. In this article you’ll learn what to expect when you come in for your first Acupuncture appointment, but also, what to expect when you choose to work with me.

What To Expect:

The Treatment

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“ Lauren immediately made me feel comfortable and heard. She is a great listener and I really got the sense that she cares about your overall wellbeing. Lauren asked a lot of questions and I felt that she really took the time to get to know me and the whole picture of what was going on. I was really impressed by her attention to detail, as well as her compassionate and friendly demeanor! I have never been to another provider that looked at the “big picture” before. It is a refreshing and very much appreciated change! “

~ SM, PORTLAND

  1. TIME: 1.5 Hours

    You read that right. Your first treatment will last about an hour and a half. Quite different than the average U.S. doctor’s visit of 20 minutes! This is because it includes our in-depth consultation as well as the treatment itself.

  2. LET’S CHAT

    The Consultation is one of my favorite things because it’s all about getting to know you! When you first come in, we will sit down in some comfy chairs and talk. I like to listen while you share what’s been bothering you and your experience around how it impacts your day to day life. I will also ask questions about your LIFESTYLE, HOBBIES, WORK, DIET, DIGESTION, SLEEP HABITS, MOOD, ENERGY LEVELS, and more. All of this information allows me to understand what imbalances are taking place, as well as how they are influencing your physical, mental, and emotional health. After all, symptoms rarely exist in isolation. No matter how big, small, or random they might seem, you will be surprised how connected they might be! That is where I come in. It’s through this essential, initial conversation that I can begin to piece everything together to address your concerns holistically—treating the root causes beyond the symptoms.

  3. CAN I SEE YOUR TONGUE?

    If you’re thinking “what?!” it’s okay. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looking at the tongue is an important diagnostic evaluation. The tongue is considered a micro-map of the human body and our organ systems within. By analyzing the shape of the tongue, its color, the presence of cracks, tongue fur (color, thickness, distribution), and the sublingual veins underneath, I can tell a lot about your circulation, which organ systems are being affected, and more. Since this test is important, please refrain from using a tongue scraper before your first visit.

  4. PULSE & BLOOD PRESSURE

    After taking a look at the tongue, I will ask to “feel your pulse," meaning, the radial pulse on the inside of your wrists. In TCM, feeling the pulse is another essential diagnostic test that gives me the chance to assess your overall circulation and the strength/weakness of various organ systems. The pulse is divided into 6 sections (3 on each side) for this reason. After feeling the pulse I like to take note of your blood pressure with a wrist monitor.

  5. LOGISTICS

    Before I do any Acupuncture, I have to get your permission first! In all seriousness, this is the part of your appointment where we go over logistics including Informed Consent and what a tentative Treatment Plan might look like for you. I also give you the opportunity to ask any questions you have—but you can always ask me anytime. I just prefer to give you a specific space to do so beforehand.

  6. TREATMENT

    The moment you have been waiting for… At this point you get to lay down on a cozy table face-up or face-down (similar to massage if you have ever had one). Feel free to wear comfy clothes that are not too tight. You can also bring your own shorts since I commonly use points around the knees and lower legs. If you forget, that’s okay, I have plenty in-house. Before I begin, I use an alcohol swab over the Acupuncture points I plan on using. Next I will start to place the needles (hair-thin, sterile, single-use) into those points that I have selected just for you, based on the information you shared in your consult. If you are nervous, I can guide you in taking some deep breaths and incorporate essential oils if you prefer. I strive to ensure that each point is placed skillfully so the insertions remain sensation-free—and you feel nothing but relaxed.

  7. TIME TO NAP

    Once all of the needles are placed, I will make sure you are comfortable and warm enough (I often place a heat lamp over you—it feels amazing) before I leave the room to let you relax. I will also give you a wireless doorbell that you can use to ring me in case you need anything while you are resting. Speaking of, the needles will stay in for 25-30 minutes while you listen to music and shift into that healing “rest and digest” mode. Most people take a literal power-nap, and I encourage that if you can!

  8. LEAVE FEELING REFRESHED

    Once you have had enough time to rest, I’ll come back into the room and take the needles out. Once I confirm they are all out, I have you meet me back in the reception area when you’re ready. My goal is to always have you leave less stressed and feeling better than when you came in. Before you leave, I will give you personalized recommendations for you to begin implementing on your own between visits. This will allow us to get an even greater jump start on your progress. My hope is that you enjoy collaborating with me, and that together, we can remind your body what it is capable of doing on its own: to shift towards a balanced state that becomes more resilient to illness, pain, and other internal imbalances.

What To Expect:

My Approach

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“ A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. ”

—Oprah Winfrey

I love this quote because being a mentor to those I work with is one of the roles I cherish the most in my life. To me, this is what I love about being an Acupuncturist. I enjoy collaborating and helping others realize they have the ability to manage and overcome what’s bothering them.

It IS possible to live without physical pain all of the time. It IS possible to not let stress, anxiety, or depression run your life.

You CAN sleep through the night, eat without indigestion, have regular-painless cycles, and more.

When you come in for Acupuncture, you can expect to get more than Acupuncture itself. What I mean is, I also offer guidance on all of the ways you can participate in your care and independently improve your well being. For some people it’s making tweaks in their diet according to Chinese Medicine, For others, I recommend an herbal formula, mindfulness exercises, and movement—whatever that looks like to you. I am also a fan of sending articles and resources so you can have answers and understand your health concerns from an integrative TCM and Western perspective.

As a mentor, I am here to listen, celebrate, console, support, and facilitate.

But it’s you who gets to own your process and realize that feeling better was possible all along.

Thank you for the opportunity to support you.