WHAT TO EXPECT
About an Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncturists provide one-on-one consultations with their patients, using their skills and knowledge to treat a wide range of health problems. The first consultation may last up to an hour or more which allows the acupuncturist to take a detailed case history before making a Chinese medical diagnosis and beginning treatment. Subsequent sessions usually take about 30-45 minutes. A treatment plan varies depending on the severity of the problem, some patients require only a few sessions, others require a longer term course of treatments.
What to expect from my first and follow-up visits?
Your first visit will last approximately 60-90 minutes. This visit includes a detailed medical history and consultation. During your first visit, you will be asked a wide range of questions including your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior, all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have to establish a complete and accurate diagnosis. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic medicine, meaning it treats you the person, not the disease. Treatment is based not only on your health but who you are and how you are. This allows the practitioner to treat the root of your health issue.
Follow-up visits typically last approximately 30-45 minutes. It is possible for acupuncture to produce rapid results. However, it is more common that you will require a number of treatments over a period of time. Results vary from person to person depending on the condition.
How do the acupuncture needles feel? Do they hurt?
This varies from patient to patient. People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The acupuncture needle is very smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle. Because sterilized disposable needles are used, there is no risk of infection from the treatments. Most patients feel no pain at all and report a feeling of relaxation. Some patients fall asleep during treatment.
How do I need to prepare for treatment?
Bring in any supplements or prescription drugs you are taking.
Make sure you eat before your treatment.
Come to your appointment rested and relaxed. Try to avoid stressful situations. Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment because all these activities will disturbance the balance or drain your qi.
Take note of any changes that may have occurred since your last treatment. For example, has your pain diminished or moved to a new area?
How long are the needles in place?
An average acupuncture treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes. Needles are inserted and stay in place for approximately 30 minutes. In manual acupuncture, manual manipulations may be applied every 10 minutes to improve the result.