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Before You Come


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.

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

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/Tight
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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?

Remember, you and Joe are a team working together to bring you to the healthiest condition possible. 


Stratford Acupuncture & Nutritional Wellness Center
1000 Bridgeport Ave
Shelton, CT 06484
Phone: 959-600-6335
Fax: 203-345-9827

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