What the practitioner is looking for is not symptoms in isolation, but rather a pattern into which is woven a total picture of the patient. Having decided on the cause or causes of the problem, the points and appropriate method of treatment are selected according to various rules governing the movement of Qi ("Chee") in the body. During acupuncture treatment, needles are either inserted for a second or two or left in place for up to 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the effect required. During this time there may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
During the first consultation, the practitioner aims to determine the nature of the disharmony in the patient's mind/body by careful questioning and observation. A detailed understanding is required of the patient's symptoms, past medical and family history, lifestyle and diet, behavior of all the systems in the body such as digestion and circulation, sleep patterns, and emotional feelings. Diagnosis may also include examination of the tongue for its structure, color and coating and of the pulses at the wrists, which are felt for their quality, rhythm and strength.
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in section "Acupuncture"