Imagine going to a restaurant and the server comes to take your order and you want them to guess what you want.  They’re the restaurant expert, so they should know, right?

“Would you like water?”  “Yeah, that’d be nice.”

“Would you like tea?”  “No, I don’t really like tea.”

“Would you like juice?”  “Well, I do like juice.  But I usually just drink it in the morning.”

“Would you like soda?”  “I gave up sodas.”

“Would you like a beer.”  “Normally, yes, but not tonight.”

“Well, now let’s move on to the entrees!  Would you like chicken?”  “Nah…(shrugs shoulders)”

Obviously, this is a terrible way to order food in a restaurant.

But for some reason, people do this to their medical professionals!  

Especially to acupuncturists because we see you more often and we usually have a pretty good idea of your various health concerns, more so than the average MD anyway.  I guess people assume we already know what’s going on.  And that we remember it all (Ha!).  

The way to get the best possible result from your treatment is to keep this acupuncturist visit checklist in mind when you come in for your appointments.

List your priorities.  Pick 2 or 3 areas you want the acupuncturist to focus on for that day’s treatment.  It’s OK if it’s different from what you originally came in for.  We can treat just about any health condition.  If you’re not sure, just ask!

For each of the 2 or 3 areas, make sure we know

The onset date – Especially for new problems, we need to know how long has this problem been going on and when it happens, how long does each incident occur.  If it’s something we’ve been treating regularly for a while, this step is maybe not as necessary.  

How bad is it – Here’s where details really matter.  

  • Where does it rank on a pain scale?  


  • How would you describe the sensation or severity?  Dull / achy / sharp / distending / prickly / numb / pounding / throbbing / hot / etc.  I know it’s hard to not make it an emotional thing when you’re suffering or in pain, but try to relay the sensation in an objective way.   
  • Does it interfere with any daily movements?
  • Is it constant or does it come and go?

What makes it better or worse – does exercise/stretching/movement/heat or cold/times of the day/times of the month/etc. impact the problem.  This is all valuable information for giving you the best possible treatment.

THIS IS IMPORTANT AND OFTEN FORGOTTEN:  any changes in your condition since we started treatment.  

You’re probably seeing an acupuncturist because of some on-going concern.  Therefore, we really need to know, again, as objectively as possible, how this is all progressing.  For example,

  • could you give us a percentage of improvement;
  • does it happen less often (specifically like “it was constant, but now it’s only 2 hours a day”);
  • is it less intense (from a “9 on the pain scale to a 4”)
  • how does the condition change right after a treatment (“the pain went from a 10 to a 3 for two days, then it returned to a 7.”)

We need to know about any medication changes or other diagnoses and tests from other medical offices.  We’re treating your whole body, so please tell us when anything health-related changes.  

Let us know any questions or concerns you have about your treatment or condition.

  • if you want more information on anything else that would be helpful for your condition, ask us.
  • if the supplements or herbs are bothering you in some way, let us know right away.  Call or email; don’t wait for your appointment even.  But if your appointment comes up and you have this issue, please tell us!