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What to Expect at Your First East Asian Medicine Appointment

Just like every client is unique with specific needs and expectations, every practitioner is also unique with specific needs and expectations. If East Asian Medicine (EAM) is a new experience for you, you might be wondering what to expect. While not every practice is the same, and mine is a little different than most, there are a few general principles that will guide your first appointment.

After making your appointment and arriving at my office, you can expect a lengthy health intake interview that might include questions you may never have heard before. As previously mentioned, every practitioner has their own intake process and personality, but there are standard health questions that will be covered in your initial interview. 

You should be prepared to share your care plans with other health care providers before diving into whatever your primary health complaint might be. You could be asked about your sleeping and digestive patterns, emotional and mental quality of life and stress levels just to name a few. It’s important that you answer all questions honestly and completely to increase the accuracy of the diagnosis and to help your practitioner develop an accurate and effective treatment plan. 

The purpose of these questions is to uncover the underlying health issue, which might not be what you came in for. For example, I may ask about your sleep habits when you are coming in to see me for chronic pain. However, what I am doing is looking for cues that will lead me to the actual diagnosis of what is happening in your body. EAM looks at the body in totality, so these questions are really getting at the heart of the issue, even if it feels like it’s irrelevant to you. 

The next thing you can expect is a taking of the pulse and an observation of the tongue. Every practitioner has a different technique, but taking the pulse is the most objective way to get a feel for what is happening in your entire body. As far as the tongue part goes, in EAM the tongue is believed to be a microcosm of the entire body. This means that observing the quality of the tongue can tell the practitioner what is happening in that corresponding part of the body. 

The next step is your actual treatment. You will want to make sure to be in comfortable clothes for this part. Each treatment will consist of a variety of modalities designed to stimulate specific points on the body. Some of the techniques I use include acupressure, ear seeds, microcurrent, clinical aromatherapy, vagal nerve stimulation, and nutrition & herbal therapy. You shouldn’t feel too much discomfort during the treatment and make sure you ask any questions, so you feel comfortable before treatment begins or during the treatment as well. 

Once your treatment is complete, I will take some time to discuss future treatment options with you and provide any recommendations such as supplements or herbal formulas. If this is not something you are familiar with, don’t hesitate to ask questions. As with any treatment plan, success depends on compliance with all recommendations so make sure you understand all of the recommendations and are prepared to follow all instructions in your care plan. 

I will then work with you to schedule future appointments regarding your specific treatment plan. Depending on the issue being treated, you may need to come in weekly (or even more often for certain acute issues) for treatment to keep your qi moving and get improvement. The benefits of EAM can continue for several days after treatment as your body begins to recognize this realignment. However, if you are concerned about any part of your treatment, contact my office immediately and I will put your mind at ease. 

Now that you know what to expect at your first appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so you can get started with your treatments right away!



Dr. Melissa

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