Last week I was at my dentist, and he offered to give me a breast exam after my filling was done. Okay, I'm kidding.
Because that would be weird, right? You go to the dentist to have your teeth taken care of. Your gynecologist is the person you see for examination of the lady parts. Stomach issues? Call your gastroenterologist.
In the world of Western medicine, we are used to specialization. Generally, this is a good thing; I'm really not into having my pap smears done by my podiatrist. In my world of Chinese medicine, however, it's a different story. There can be all sorts of unrelated issues that are plaguing you, and a session can treat all of them.
When you come in for your first acupuncture appointment, you'll probably be surprised at how many questions we ask. Sleep, moods, aches and pains...our intakes are definitely more comprehensive than what you fill out in the doctor's office. Part of the reason for this is because our job is to search for patterns. Some of these patterns may make no sense to you (after all, why would you ever think that your constipation and tight shoulders are related?), but they make perfect sense to us.
Hearing about all of your myriad issues is helpful for your acupuncturist, but really, you should be happy about how this works, as well. Because if its possible for you to treat your cranky elbow, your cold, your IBS, and your sleep all at the same time, why wouldn't you? I refer to my sessions as "one-stop shopping," and I constantly remind my patients to let me know new things that crop up. So often I will treat a patient for, say, migraines. At the end of their regular session, they will mention that they have an appointment with another doctor for their knee pain, forgetting that I could have worked on that, as well. When you see your acupuncturist, never think that they can only handle one issue per session. Put us to work! There is no extra charge for treating separate problems.