Preparing for Your Appointment
In this section you will find information on your role in the healing process. I believe strongly in educating my clients and equipping them with the tools to sustain their health independently whenever possible. The more you become involved with your health and responsible for your body, the better you will feel.
Before Your First Visit
Spend some time thinking about what you would like to achieve from your acupuncture treatment. What are your expectations? What questions or concerns do you have about acupuncture? Jot down a few notes to bring with you to your first visit. The more openly we can communicate, the better I can help you and the more benefit you will receive.
Be realistic. If you have several conditions or symptoms you would like to address, please rank them. On your first visit to the clinic, I will ask you primarily about your chief complaint. Secondary issues will also be noted and addressed as treatment progresses.
Start noticing how you feel each day and make a few notes. With respect to your chief complaint, try to answer these questions:
- When did this condition first appear? Is this a new condition or a recurring illness?
- What brought it on? What triggers it?
- Is your condition getting worse?
- To what degree does it interfere with your daily routine, work or sleep?
- What aggravates it? What provides relief?
- What time of day does it bother you the most? the least?
Be as descriptive and specific as possible. For example, "pain" and "discomfort" are very general words. Chinese medicine recognizes subtle distinctions in different types of pain. Burning pain is not the same as pain that has a stabbing sensation. Listed below are some words you might use to distinguish your particular pain.
- Dull and achy
- Radiating (from where?)
- Pins & needles
- No feeling
If none of these are appropriate, try coming up with your own words. If you are having difficulty describing your pain in words, try visualizing it or drawing a picture, and then describe what you see.
On the Day of Your Appointment
The following suggestions are provided to help you have a safe and relaxing experience with acupuncture. In order to reduce the risk of side effects, I require my clients to adhere to certain precautions. Please read this section carefully. If you have any questions, please contact me prior to your first visit.
Bring your notes and a list of current medications.
Eat a light meal 2 hours prior to your visit.
Acupuncture is not performed on individuals who are fasting. Being over-hungry increases the risk of nausea or dizziness. At the same time, please do not overeat or eat any foods that cause your stomach to be upset (for example, rich, greasy, fried, or extremely spicy foods).
Avoid alcohol on the day of your treatment.
Acupuncture is not performed on intoxicated individuals due to the increased risk of shock. It is also not advisable to become intoxicated shortly after treatment.
Avoid heavy exertion (including sexual activity) immediately before and after treatment (i.e. within 2 hours).
Set aside enough time so that you are not rushing to and from your visit. Physical strain immediately before or after acupuncture can weaken your body. Please schedule your activities on the day of your visit accordingly (for example, do not schedule your appointment for an hour before your 2 hour kickboxing class).
Wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be rolled up to your elbows or knees.
Acupuncture points are located all over the body. Many of the acupuncture points that are commonly used are located between the wrists and elbows, and the ankles and knees. You will be more comfortable if your clothing can be easily rolled up to your elbows and knees. Women should not wear one-piece dresses. If necessary, a gown can be provided.
Be on time.
Be on time for your appointment so that you may benefit fully. When you make an appointment, please understand that time has been reserved for you. There will be a charge for missed appointments without 24 hours notice.
George A. Forster, DC, AP, NMD
Doctor of Chiropractic
Naturopathic Medical Doctor
Past President of the American Chiropractic Thermographic Society
Past Chairman of the ICA College of Thermography
Continuing Education Lecturer for Life Chiropractic College