What to expect on your first chiropractic or acupuncture visit

Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

What should a patient expect on their first visit to a chiropractor or acupuncturist? You may wonder what to expect in the office of an alternative medicine practitioner after you make the first appointment. Will it be similar to what you expect to happen at your medical doctor’s office? Will it be different? The answer to each of these questions is `yes’.

Once you decide to pursue so-called `alternative medicine’, your healthcare journey will be similar to standard medical care in many ways, but will also be significantly different. And, don’t worry- you can always change your mind and `go back` to standard medical care, or, better yet, combine them. `Complimentary medical care` is another name for alternative medicine- chiropractic and acupuncture, etc. support healing on many levels and do not exclude the healing opportunities offered by medicine. Many chiropractic doctors or acupuncturists share referrals with medical doctors and other healthcare practitioners, share online `Patient Portal` links and insurance billing information to make it easier to provide healthcare. This facilitates healthcare delivery and can reduce paperwork.

During your initial visit to a chiropractor or acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC chooses, like Acupractic Natural Healing Center, you will complete health intake forms and provide insurance information prior to your visit with the doctor/practitioner.  Your chiropractor or acupuncturist will need to know your health history: surgeries, medications, health issues and concerns, family history, etc. In addition, you will be asked about areas of current pain, digestion, sleep, activities of daily life; your spine, posture, and extremities will be assessed and palpated, touched and evaluated.

The chiropractor or acupuncturist will watch and assess your posture and the way you walk or carry yourself in order to see how posture affects your health. They will check your pulses on the wrists, look at your tongue, and your eyes to gain important information related to health  They will palpate regions related to pain or other concerns in order to gain more information about those areas and to determine range of motion, imbalances to temperature and sensation. Your practitioner may use orthopedic and neurological tests such as: Valsalva or Phalens to determine nervous system functioning and cause of pain.  If additional information is needed your acupuncturist or chiropractor will ask for test results from other sources and practitioners; x-rays or blood work can provide valuable health clues.

Following the exam, your practitioner may provide therapeutic treatment to offer some relief that first visit. Not all offices do this however; be sure to check when you make an appointment because many offices prefer to start treatment on the next visit along with a `Report of Findings` where information obtained in the exam is explained and a treatment plan created.

At the front desk after the initial exam, an office assistant will collect payment and schedule your next appointment. He/she will explain what your insurance benefits cover and what you can expect to pay at each visit. They will give you office materials to take home and explain other office policies such as how to schedule or change appointments, how to visit the website or how to contact the office after hours. If you have questions, please ask.

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