What to Expect During Your First Acupuncture Appointment
Trying something new is a bit frightening, isn’t it? We understand that facing the unknown — particularly in regards to your health — can cause anxiety and hesitation.
But often, trying something new presents an opportunity for greater personal growth, improved health, and reconnecting with your body’s natural healing powers. There’s no reason to let the unknown hold you back — especially in regards to your first acupuncture treatment.
We have hundreds of regular patients who have realized the benefits of the ancient practice of acupuncture — it has helped them avoid medication, surgery or other invasive procedures. We also welcome those who are trying it for the first time. We know first-timers have questions and learning more about acupuncture is the first step in seeking a more natural solution to your problems.
Of course, moving out of your comfort zone requires a bit of courage, and we’d like to give you all the information you need to help you make that first step.
First, let’s get something out of the way. We know it’s the first question on your mind because we’ve heard it a thousand times.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The short answer is no.
We know many people find that hard to believe. After all, doesn’t acupuncture involve needles? And aren’t needles always painful?
Yes, acupuncture involves needles. And no, they aren’t painful.
Acupuncture needles are incredibly thin — about as large as a few strands of hair. They are also inserted just below the skin, not deep in the way you would experience when having blood drawn or getting a shot. In fact, you can fit several acupuncture needles in the hole of one of those needles. And importantly, ours are solid, so they just kind of push their way in, versus tearing in like a hypodermic needle.
Patients report several different sensations when the needles are inserted. We’ve heard it described as tingling, relaxing and even the sensation of something moving. In fact, people often fall asleep on the table during treatment — probably at least half of our patients do!
There are many words we’ve heard to describe acupuncture treatment, but painful isn’t one of them.
Now that’s out of the way, are you ready know more about what to expect at your first visit?
Your first acupuncture visit
Step one: We listen to you!
The most important aspect of your acupuncture treatment doesn’t have anything to do with needles. It’s taking time to listen to you and ask questions about your health. We want to know what you wish to get out of your treatment and how we can best meet your needs.
We’ll ask basic information related to any chronic illnesses, acute pains and medical history. In addition, we look closely at your tongue and feel your pulse on both your wrists.
Acupuncture is about more than just treatment. We believe a large part of the process is to get the complete picture of your body’s overall health. Instead of simply covering up your symptoms like a Band-Aid with medication, we want to actually resolve the situation.
We know that acupuncture is about much more than listening to your body. It’s about gaining a complete health history so we can understand the total picture.
Step two: Determining the appropriate acupuncture point.
Believe it or not, just because you have pain in one part of the body, that doesn’t mean that placing an acupuncture needle in that area will solve the problem. Don’t be surprised if the appropriate point is not near the place of your problem.
Step three: Preparing for treatment.
Don’t worry — you don’t have to do anything the day before your acupuncture treatment. After we take your health history and determine what would be the most appropriate acupuncture points, you will lay on a table covered with a clean sheet. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing so we can get to all the points we need to access.
Step four: Placing the needles.
You’re still worried it’s going to hurt, aren’t you? Go back and read the first part of this post and then return to step four.
We place the acupuncture needles, and depending upon your individual situation, we may use anywhere between five to 30 needles. Once they are inserted, we may gently move them or even apply heat. This is called needle manipulation, and it helps “awaken” your body’s natural defenses so you can start the healing process. Needles may be in place for 10 to 20 minutes.
Step five: Removing the needle
Typically, there is very little (if any) discomfort when they are removed.
Step six: Feel great!
You’ll be surprised by how great you feel after a treatment. Completely resolving your health situation may require a number of visits, but now that you’ve got your first treatment under your belt, you know what to expect and the process will be much more relaxing, and chances are you’ll be looking forward to your next visit.
If you have questions about acupuncture, ask us!
There is one important caveat when seeking acupuncture treatment: Be sure your practitioner is licensed and skilled. At Connecticut Family Acupuncture, all of our practitioners have extensive expertise in the area of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Each of us has a minimum of five years in the acupuncture field, and we are licensed acupuncturists by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. We’re also diplomats of the NCCAOM.
Okay, we know it’s impolite to brag. But we wanted to tell you that so you will realize not only do we have extensive information on treating all types of conditions, but we have the certifications and expertise to back it up.
Are you ready to give acupuncture a try? Don’t let the unknown keep you from experiencing natural relief. Contact us for an appointment.
Connecticut Family Acupuncture is dedicated to helping as many people as possible realize their optimum health naturally, without the use of pharmaceutical or surgical interventions. We are committed to our patients and utilize our extensive knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine to address each individual’s health concerns. Connecticut Family Acupuncture has offices in Bolton.