One of the biggest concerns about trying acupuncture is: will it hurt? We’ll walk you through an acupuncture appointment so that you know just what to expect.
The initial visit usually lasts 1.5 hours including completing forms, the initial consultation, and the acupuncture treatment. Subsequent visits usually last about 1 hour.
The Acupuncture Intake and Consultation
Have you ever been to the doctor only to be told that you will only be able to address 3 issues per appointment? Have you ever felt like your doctor didn’t seem interested in hearing about the symptoms you were experiencing?
A consultation with an acupuncturist is a very different experience. When you come in for your first appointment, we’ll have you fill out a detailed intake form that asks you about the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as various other health indicators such as your sleep, energy, digestion, body temperature, and moods.
This might seem like a lot of information… but if you consider that your various symptoms point towards what’s going on inside your body, it makes sense that only by looking at all of these symptoms together can we determine the underlying causes that may be contributing to your condition.
During the consultation, your acupuncturist will go over your intake form and ask additional questions to get a clear picture of your condition and determine the best treatment plan. He or she will also explain how the treatment works and what to expect during the treatment. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
A Typical Acupuncture Treatment
During treatment, sterile, disposable acupuncture needles will be placed in various points on your body. The needles are very fine and our acupuncturists are very skilled at making the treatment as gentle as possible: most of the time you won’t even feel the needles. Sometimes you may feel a brief pin prick or pinching sensation as the needle touches the surface of the skin.
Your acupuncturist may use points on the torso, back, legs, or arms so loose, comfortable clothing that can be pulled up to access these areas is best. If removing some articles of clothing for treatment, we have very lightweight paper sheets available for cover if you prefer. Some patients bring clothes that they change into before treatment, such as shorts or a skirt and tank top.
Once the needles are in place, you will be left to relax with the needles in place for roughly 30 minutes. That’s right, acupuncture is actually a very relaxing experience and some of our clients even use their appointment as an opportunity to nap! Don’t worry- if you ever need anything, we are always right there to assist you. Your acupuncturist may also use additional therapies such as a gentle, electrical stimulation, heat lamps, or liniments.
At the end of your treatment, the needles are removed and you’re done! Your acupuncturist will recommend that you take it easy for the rest of the day to let the treatment continue to do its work: it’s a good idea to avoid strenuous activity or rigorous workouts, high stress, alcohol or heavy meals. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
How to Prepare for Acupuncture
It’s best not to be too hungry or overtired before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes acupuncture can make you feel lightheaded or weak, especially if you are overly hungry or overtired. If this is the case, let us know right away so we can adjust the treatment appropriately.