Your First Acupuncture Treatment: 9 Tips to Set Yourself Up for Success
The popularity of acupuncture is increasing in the United States. As more insurance policies cover acupuncture treatment and more doctors refer patients to acupuncturists for complementary care, this can be seen.
Acupuncture is a traditional therapy that has been used for thousands of years. It can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies. Acupuncture is effective in treating many conditions, including pain and insomnia, digestive problems, bells palsy, and other issues. ).
Although there’s a lot of buzz about acupuncture it’s still a new concept for most people. It’s not enough to know that acupuncture exists.
Knowing what to expect can help you feel confident in your first session.
These 9 tips will help to explain our treatment process so you are aware of what to expect.
1. Wear loose, fitted clothes.
Many acupuncture points can be found below the knees on the legs and below the elbows on the arms. Treatment will be affected by tight jeans and long sleeves.
Your acupuncturist may need to inspect the area you are seeking treatment for, such as pain or injury. Your clothing might need to be altered in order to access certain areas such as your lower back. Layering is a smart idea when coming to treatment. Your acupuncturist will make sure that you are comfortably and warm during treatment, even when clothing is removed or adjusted.
2. Answer all interview questions honestly and completely
Acupuncture can be considered a holistic treatment for health. Acupuncturists will not only be interested in your individual concerns but also how your body functions overall. The more information we can get about you and your life, both in the intake form and the interview, the better.
This information will be used by your acupuncturist to develop a personalized treatment plan. You may discover acupuncture working in unexpected ways as you go through your treatment. Many patients notice side effects such as better sleep and digestion.
3. Start with something.
Although we do not recommend eating a large meal before treatment, it is a good idea to have a snack or light meal before you receive acupuncture. Patients who arrive to treatment with a full stomach might feel dizzy or lightheaded. You can optimize healing by eating enough to ensure you are not hungry but not too full. Avoid caffeine before your appointment.
4. Before you start treatment, don’t touch your tongue.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), uses diagnostic techniques not found in Western Medicine. To diagnose, a TCM practitioner will examine the tongue. All aspects of the tongue are taken into consideration, including its shape, quality, and coating. It is best to avoid eating candy that has bright colors or rubbing your tongue before you receive your treatment.
TCM also uses pulse diagnosis. Your acupuncturist can also feel your pulse on each wrist to get an indication of the energy state. This information is useful in providing important diagnostic information. You may be asked to take off any jewelry or watches that put pressure on your wrists during treatment.
5. Do not worry about needles!
Acupuncture needles can be as fine as a cat’s whisker. They are not like the hypodermic needles you use at the doctor’s. We often refer to them by the name “pins”, but this doesn’t accurately reflect their size. They are thinner than your average pin!
Although some patients may feel a pinch or a heavy sensation when acupuncture is applied, it is not painful.
All of our needles are sterilized and hypoallergenic. They are never re-used.
Although acupuncture can be more like a visit to the doctor than a spa treatment, it is extremely relaxing. After the pins are inserted into the acupuncture points, it is possible to relax on the table for approximately 15 minutes. You can meditate, clear your mind, or even take a break. Deep relaxation is where most people experience profound healing.
7. Keep relaxing after treatment.
Although it is not strictly prohibited, you should plan to exercise or go to the gym before your treatment session. The healing process of acupuncture continues even after you leave the office. You don’t have to stay in bed the whole day. Walking or doing other light activities is a good idea.
8. Keep hydrated.
Hydration is essential for the body’s natural healing process and maximizes the benefits of acupuncture treatments. Bring your own water bottle or a cup of water to our office before you leave. Warm water with lemon and a pinch salt is a great way of replenishing electrolytes.
9. Get feedback from your acupuncturist.
Pay attention to your feelings after your sessions. Your acupuncturist will ask about this at the beginning of your next treatment. To help them recall how they felt during treatment, some patients keep a journal or make notes. Your practitioner will use this information to help you tailor your treatment.