One-to-one sessions take place in a private treatment room. The session lasts for one hour, during which the acupuncturist will consult with you, agree on a treatment plan for the session and carry out treatment.
When you arrive for your first consultation, you will be asked to fill in a brief intake and consent form before going in for treatment. This takes a couple of minutes to fill in, so please arrive early to allow time before your first appointment to complete the form. During the first consultation, the acupuncturist will go through your intake form with you and ask questions about your specific condition and about your general health. This gives the acupuncturist the information that they need to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. Details of past injuries, illnesses, long-term conditions, particular concerns and medication will be noted. The acupuncturist may also check your pulse (on both sides) and look at your tongue to gain further information.
The acupuncturist will explain to you what she intends to do and discuss different options for treatment. As well as acupuncture, treatments such as cupping, gua sha, pricking to bleed or massage, could be considered. In acupuncture, there are always several options. If you are uncomfortable with the treatment proposed, you can ask that certain areas are not needled or certain techniques are not used. Once a treatment has been agreed, you will be asked to lie on the treatment couch, exposing the points to be treated. In Margaret’s style of acupuncture, most of the points used are accessible without requiring the client to undress. In the majority of cases, rolling up clothing to the elbow and knee is all that will be required. Loose clothing is advised.
The acupuncturist will take afew minutes to place the needles and make sure that you are comfortable. You may be asked to move the affected area or (if practicable) walk around with hand needles in place, to test for immediate pain relief/changes. This allows the acupuncturist to assess how you are reacting to the needles and whether additional points should be added. Once the needles are in place, you will be asked to relax for at least 20 minutes, to give the needles time to work. Many people fall asleep at this stage.
At the end of the treatment, the acupuncturist will remove the needles and advise you on any further treatments needed.
On subsequent visits you can tell the acupuncturist how you are progressing, raise any concerns and agree what you would like to work on in the current session. Less time will be spent on discussion as most information will have been taken in the first session. This means that more time can be spent on treatment and you may relax for longer with the needles in place, giving them more time to work.