As more and more data pours in showing acupunture helpful for a wide range of problems, many people who were previously skeptical are starting to seriously consider acupuncture as an option.
If you're considering acupuncture, but are on "pins and needles" as to what to expect (sorry, couldn't help it), take heart! Even people who are afraid of needles discover there's nothing to fear once they know what's involved.
Acupuncture is not only effective, but it can also be relaxing! Here???s what to expect from an acupuncture treatment:
1. Your Initial Consultation with Your Acupuncturist
At your first meeting, tell your acupuncturist your particular problem, pointing out your pain areas. Besides describing your symptoms, review prior treatments.
2. The Actual Treatment
We try our best to rely on points along your arms and legs that can be reached with loose-fititing clothes. That said, some problems require you to undress to some degree (you will never be asked to fully undress). Expect to be wrapped in a towel or sheet. If it???s cold, you could also be covered with a blanket.
Your acupuncturist will use alcohol to swab areas where new, sterile needles will be inserted. As many as 20 needles may be used, although the average is around 10.
3. Pain Expectations
At first you???ll feel a tiny prick, but this should quickly go away. Although pain is subjective, many patients say they don???t feel anything, while others testify having only minimal pain. If there is any unwarranted pain, it could be because a patient moves which can cause needles to slip.
Some people report having a warm tingling feeling or a dull ache. Others say they feel electrical impulses moving through their bodies. This is normal as it signifies that an acupuncture point is being stimulated.
If the thought of needles in your skin bothers you, close your eyes. Just don't look! You most likely won't even know when the needle goes in - it's that small.
Considerations and Warnings
- Be sure to fill out the initial health history! I know most doctors never even read those forms, but they actually really help your acupuncturist figure out what the issue is.
- The length of a treatment varies, ranging from 20 minutes to an hour. Usually, the first treatment is shorter.
- When dressing for an appointment, select loose fitting clothing and slacks that you can roll up to your knees.
- Let your acupuncturist know if you experience a sharp, sudden nerve pain so that he or she can remove the needle, inserting it in a different location.
Most importantly, lie quietly while being treated. Stressing out during an acupuncture treatment can affect how well a treatment works. The more you relax, the more benefit you???ll receive.
If you'd like to know more about the training required to become an acupuncturist, click here. If you have any questions about acupuncture, feel free to write to us on our Ask An Acupuncturist forum! A licensed acupuncturist will get back to you within 24 hours to answer any questions you have.
If you'd like more information on City Acupuncture (or community acupuncture in general) check out our free ebook!