Acupuncture is no different than any other form of medical treatment. Upon the patient's first visit, the acupuncturist will record basic biographical information about the patient, and will then proceed with the diagnostic framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine, described as the four examinations. These include: observation, listening and smelling, questioning, and touching.
Once the diagnosis is complete, the practitioner will discuss the treatment with the patient, and the patient will have an opportunity to ask questions - i.e. how many needles will be used, at which acu-points, possible duration of treatment, complimentary treatments such as herbal medicine, etc.