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Before the initial appointment, you will be asked to complete a health history. The acupuncturist begins the visit by asking you about your health concerns, diet, sleep, stress level, and other lifestyle habits. You may be asked about your emotions, appetite, food likes and dislikes, and response to changes in temperature and seasons.
During your visit, the acupuncturist will examine your appearance carefully, noting your complexion, voice, and tongue color and coating. She will take your pulse at three points on each wrist, noting the strength, quality, and rhythm. In Chinese medicine, the tongue and pulses are considered to reflect the health of your organ systems and meridians.
Typically, an acupuncture will use 4 to 20 tiny needles per treatment (the number of needles doesn't indicate the intensity of the treatment). The needles are often left in for 10 to 20 minutes. The acupuncturist may twist the needles for added effect.