On the first treatment, a complete intake is taken, which includes obtaining a thorough history of a patient’s health and chief complaints, performing a physical exam. The acupuncturist uses diagnostic techniques, including pulse-taking – the three pulse positions on each wrist correspond to the major body organs – and observing the tongue, complexion and other signs.
Modern acupuncture needles are made from very fine stainless steel and are from one to three inches long. They are pre-sterilized, non-toxic and disposable. Ten to 20 needles are placed in acupoints per treatment and retained for between 20 and 40 minutes depending on the issue, age and condition of the patient.