We listen and enquire.....
Your first visit to Dr Li's TCM Clinic will usually include a consultation similar to that of visiting your GP. Our practitioners will usually take you to a private consultation room, where you can discuss your health concerns and the reason for your visit.
We will also ask you a series of questions in relation to your health. It is important for your practitioner to gain a clear and thorough picture of your past and present health, perhaps including some family history.
...and make a diagnosis
Special diagnostic techniques will be used by your practitioner to determine your current state of health. We use a specialised method of observation including checking your pulse and looking at your tongue.
Through this process, your practitioner can determine a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis and what combination of treatment you require.
You may need to allow some extra time on your first visit to cover these discussions. After your consultation, you will generally move to a treatment room to commence treatment. Depending on your condition and your practitioner's recommendations, your treatment may last between half to one hour.
After diagnosis, we provide Treatment Advice:
Your practitioner may advise a course of several treatments, depending on the severity of your condition. If you have an acute condition such as a new sports injury, you may only need one treatment, but if you have had chronic back pain for several years, it may be necessary and advisable for you to have a series of treatments to fix your condition.
Often, you may be advised to take a course of Chinese Herbal Medicine in conjunction with your treatment sessions. Physical treatment addresses your condition externally, while Herbal Medicine works from the inside out.
Combining Treatment Types......
Traditional Chinese Medicine includes individual modalities or techniques like acupuncture, moxabustion, Tuina (massage), cupping, gua sha, herbal remedies, exercise and diet.
Combining different types of modalities increases the effectiveness dramatically over stand alone treatments as TCM modalities work best in synergy. The duration of treatment may also reduce.
.....with Chinese Herbal Medicine
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine comes in many forms such as raw herbs, powder, capsules or tablets. Raw herbs are highly effective because your practitioner can combine a variety of herbs specific to your condition. Raw herbs require special preparation, similar to making tea or soup.
Many herbs are now available in convenient tablet form so there is no need for you to prepare the herbs. If you are given herbs in this form, remember that only a certain amount of plant material can be concentrated into a small tablet. This is why you may need to take more tablets than you would typically expect of Western Medicine.
Taking the herbal medicine
It is recommended that all Herbal Medicine be taken in accordance with your practitioner's instructions in relation to meals and should always be taken with a full cup of warm water (as opposed to hot or cold water). This promotes the proper absorption of the herbs increasing their effectiveness.
You should also avoid taking herbal medicine with any other beverage or consuming any other drink immediately afterwards. This especially includes tea, coffee, soft drink etc. Again, this will improve the effectiveness of your Herbal Medicine.
How to prepare for your treatment appointment:
To make the most of your treatment, we recommend you arrive at your appointment on time, as the more relaxed you can be, the better you will feel.
We suggest that mobile phones are turned off so as not to disturb yourself and others.
If necessary, use the bathroom prior to your treatment to save you from interruption once you begin.
Avoid eating heavy foods directly prior to your appointment as this may cause discomfort.
It is a good idea to have eaten something light before you arrive so you do not feel drained of energy by the end of your treatment.
Ensure you are hydrated so have a small amount of water before you begin.
You treatment will move your energy, toxins, and fluids around the body. These measures will ensure you feel your best.
You may be required to remove items of clothing for treatment. We will advise you if it is necessary. Generally you should take off your shoes, socks and clothes, but leave your underwear on. Towels are available in the treatment rooms for your comfort and modesty.
It may be helpful for you to remove any jewelry particularly earrings, bracelets, watches and necklaces so they do not obstruct treatment. There is a special tray beneath your treatment table to place these items.
Usually you will need to lay face down with your face in the round cutout at the end of the table. When you are ready your practitioner will come in to commence treatment.
During your treatment, be sure to tell your practitioner if you feel too hot or cold or have any discomfort at any time.
With Acupuncture Treatment
If you have acupuncture, once the needles have been inserted, your practitioner will cover you with towels and leave you for some time so that the treatment can take affect (around 20 minutes).
It is important that you try to lie still and relax. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, your practitioner is always on hand.
Your practitioner may 'stimulate' or adjust your acupuncture about halfway through your treatment. A special infrared heat lamp may also be used.
We will explain the procedure to you before hand and if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.
After your treatment, you may need to take a moment before you get up as you may feel light headed. We recommend you drink some water straight away as this will help flush out any toxins and reduce muscle tension.
Particularly after your first treatment, be sure to take it easy and not do strenuous activity. Some people may feel energised or tired. Either are normal reactions but it is important to rest and drink plenty of warm water.
If you had herbal patches, compresses or liniment applied during your treatment, be sure to keep the area warm and avoid showering immediately afterwards to allow the medicines time to absorb and take affect.
In the three days that follow (depending on your treatment and sensitivity), it is normal for you to experience mild muscle soreness as your body re-adjusts to its 'normal' state.
Should you experience prolonged or severe discomfort, or experience any symptoms which concern you, please do not hesitate to contact your practitioner for advice.
What you should do
Follow any directions and the prescribed treatment course given by your practitioner consistently as this has a major impact on how well and quickly you will attain results.
We recommend you schedule your treatment course after your first session to maintain continuity and ensure you secure a convenient appointment time.
As a guide, you may be advised to have a follow-up treatment in two days if your condition is acute or in a week's time if your condition is chronic.