About Your Appointment


Acupuncture & Nutrition in Shelton

You and Joe are a team working together to bring you to the healthiest condition possible. So, here’s what you should do before your first visit and, indeed, before every visit to make that appointment the most effective it can be.

acupuncturist inserts needles into his patient's back

Before Your Appointment

  • What you can expect

    We will ask that you complete an intake survey. An intake survey is critical to developing an individualized treatment plan. Our survey is focused on eight questions that are part of a Chinese Medical diagnosis and includes a series of health history questions. We will also conduct a comprehensive computerized test of your 12 primary meridians. This information will be helpful in monitoring your progress.
    Based on the above-gathered information, we may evaluate both your tongue and your pulse to validate your diagnosis. Depending on your primary area of concern, we may also palpate your abdomen and explore other areas where you experience pain and discomfort.
    Once we have gathered and analyzed the Meridian results and supplemental findings, you will be given a Differential Chinese Medical Diagnosis; your individual diagnosis will be derived from the classical cannons of Chinese Medicine.
    Your individualized treatment plan will be based on your differential diagnosis. In addition, we can also recommend dietary plans, herbal supplements, and/or alternate wellness strategies to aid you on your journey to optimal health and well-being.

  • Spend some time thinking about what you would like to achieve from your treatment

    ● What are your expectations?● When did this condition first appear?● Is this a new condition or a recurring illness?● What brought it on? What triggers it?● Is your condition getting worse?● To what degree does it interfere with your daily routine, work, or sleep?● What aggravates it? What provides relief?● What time of day does it bother you the most or the least?● Does it seem to be seasonal?● Does anything change when you are away from home?● Do you have some other discomfort that seems minor or unrelated to your primary concern?● What questions or concerns do you have about any of the treatments we offer?

  • What type of discomfort do you have?

    Pain - Eastern medicine recognizes the distinctions in different types of pain. For example, burning pain is not the same as pain that is dull and achy. Below are some words you might use to distinguish your particular type of pain:● Distending.● Numb.● Pins & needles.● No feeling.● Wandering.● Pounding.● Sharp.● Dull and achy.● Constant burning.● Contracting/tightening.● Heavy.● Radiating.● Intermittent.● Stabbing.
    Other Concerns
    ● Restricted finger, hand, or arm movement.● Balance problems.● Limited stamina.● Breathing problems.● High or low blood pressure.

The Day of Your Appointment

The following suggestions are provided to help the best treatment experience possible.

  • What to bring?

    Bring your notes and a list of current medications.
    IMPORTANT: Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.

  • How do I prepare myself?

    ● Try to eat a light meal 2 hours prior to your visit.● We strongly suggest you do not fast before your visit: Being over-hungry increases the risk of nausea or dizziness. At the same time, please do not overeat or eat any foods that cause your stomach to be upset. ● Avoid alcohol on the day of your treatment.● Avoid heavy exertion (including sexual activity) immediately before treatment (i.e., within 2 hours).● Wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be rolled up to your elbows or knees. Gym clothing works best.

After Your Appointment

The following suggestions are provided to help the best treatment experience possible:● Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages for at least 6 hours after treatment.● Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance.● Be aware of how you feel after the treatment and prior to your next visit. Write it down if you can. Has your discomfort changed?Are you noticing any new discomfort?

General Questions

  • How many acupuncture sessions will you need?

    Your treatment plan will be based on your Differential Chinese Medical Diagnosis. Typically, issues that are more acute in nature (meaning that they recently occurred) are generally addressed in six sessions. In contrast, differential diagnoses that are more chronic in nature can be addressed in approximately 10 to 20 sessions, depending on the nature and severity of the complaint.

  • Who should see an acupuncturist?

    Acupuncture is a viable alternative treatment for everyone. We all experience health issues that Western Medicine may not always offer the best solutions for. Acupuncture is a proven alternative treatment for a broad spectrum of ailments that affect the human condition and spirit.
    In addition, the World Health Organization, the United States Federal National Institute of Health, and the United States Military all recognize acupuncture as a viable treatment.

  • May I use my insurance plan?

    Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center is out-of-network with most insurance plans. We are in-network with some Cigna plans, and HUSKY A, C, and D. Patients are responsible for payment at the time services are rendered. Please contact us with any insurance questions at any time.