What to Expect
What should I expect in the first appointment?
The initial consultation involves an extensive review of your pet's past and current medical history and a review of your pet's daily routine behavior and body functions. A physical exam will be done involving both Modern Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches. Needle placement may or may not be done on the first appointment. Expect the appointment to last a minimum of 1 hour.
Is it painful?
Acupuncture is performed with sterilized stainless steel/copper needles that are so thin that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. There is occasionally a brief moment of sensitivity as the needle penetrates the skin. Once the needles are in place most animals relax. Humans tend to be more reactive with the needle placement.
How often and for how long does one treat?
The first initial consultation with physical exam will usually be an hour and a half. Subsequent treatment sessions are 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the condition being treated, the method employed and the cooperation of the pet. Once the needles are in place, they are not removed for 20 to 30 minutes. Methods of stimulating acupuncture points include the needles alone, electroacupuncture (adding electrical current to the points), aquapuncture (injecting a solution into the point), moxibustion (heating the point), as well as laser acupuncture. Patients are often treated 3 to 4 times in the first month. After improvement is noted, the duration between sessions is gradually lengthened. Maintenance treatments are determined on a patient basis, anywhere from once a month to every two to three months.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest therapies utilized when practiced by a trained acupuncturist. Side effects are rare, but possible.