What To Expect
FAQ – Things You Might Want To Know About Acupuncture
Q: Acupuncture uses needles, will they hurt?
A: Because acupuncture operates with tiny, thin needles, there is no discomfort when they’re inserted — in fact, most patients don’t even know they’ve been placed! Acupuncture does require a bit of manipulation of the needle to unblock the chi, however, this is not painful. Patients have described it as a heavy and sometimes electrical sensation that goes as quickly as it comes.
Many people worry that acupuncture is a series of painful injections lasting over an hour, but this strays very far from reality. The needles do not feel like injections. The only thing you may feel — depending on the style of acupuncture being performed — is the small, hollow, plastic tube that the needle is housed in. If you have any hesitations, talk with your acupuncturist and they can give you a demonstration.
Q: What does a typical acupuncture appointment look like?
A: Your first appointment will be more involved as your practitioner will spend a great deal of time getting a complete picture of your medical history. Acupuncturists use what our bodies are doing as diagnostics, so don’t be alarmed if they ask detailed questions about your bowel movements and menstrual cycles. After the history is complete, they’ll use a couple more eastern diagnostic tools, such as evaluating your tongue and taking your pulse. Lastly, the acupuncture treatment begins. The needles will be placed along their channels and points, and then you will be left to “marinate” anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour to let the needles do their work! After the needles are taken out, you’ll slowly get up and feel a sense of relaxation in both your body and mind.
Q: Is just one acupuncture treatment sufficient?
A: Acupuncture builds a foundation, and is cumulative in that way. Different conditions will take varying amounts of treatments, but 10 to 15 is standard. Preventative care is always recommended, and this can be scheduled as needed.
Q: What should I wear to an acupuncture appointment?
A: Depending on what points your acupuncturists will be using, and if you get moxa or cupping, you will want to wear loose-fitting clothing so they can easily access your legs and arms. Most acupuncture clinics, however, will have gowns for you to change into.