The acupuncturist’s approach is to treat “the person first,” not just the symptoms. The disease is treated as the result. Many acupuncturists listen to you extensively regarding your history and life patterns during the initial examination; others may move directly into a physical examination. Acupuncturists are particularly trained to observe very subtle signs and symptoms which are thought of as insignificant or often overlooked by Western medical practitioners. An acupuncturist uses the oriental diagnostic system which takes into account many factors to determine the correct points or gateways along the vital energy pathways of the body, called meridians. These points are treated and used to regulate the vital energy in the body – thereby quickening healing, enhancing health and the feeling of well-being. The acupuncturist will talk with you about the types of therapies she/he can use to treat you. This may include acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicines, moxibustion, nutrition, exercises, etc. She/he may recommend further treatment based on the type, severity and duration of the condition, and your physical state at the time of treatment. For best therapeutic results, she/he will talk with you about home care recommendations so you can optimize your progress and total health.