Odds are, someone who is considering making their first acupuncture appointment, might require a confidence boost. That is understandable, which is why I came up with this list to prepare you for your first acupuncture appointment. Each practitioner is different but these are some of the most common tips to know:
Acupuncture treats more than just pain.
Many people seek acupuncture for pain conditions and are pleasantly surprised at the many other issues acupuncture can improve. The World Health Organization has already acknowledged acupuncture's success with the common cold, depression, digestive issues and much more. You may schedule an appointment for reasons ranging from stress to skin disease or gout, but you better not cancel because you are "under the weather".
Get a bite to eat first.
Seriously, eat something first. You don't have to eat a full meal, but at least grab a snack. Although you will be laying down, feeling very relaxed your body will be responding to the treatments and need food as fuel to create energy in order for acupuncture treatment to have its optimum effect. Patients who have ignored or forgotten to heed this advice have reported feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
Be prepared to remove clothing.
Acupuncturists need to access areas obscured by clothing. Don't worry, I will make sure you are properly covered so that only small portions of skin are exposed. Just please wear loose clothing so I can roll your sleeves up above the elbows and pull your pant legs up above your knees.
Know what to expect from the initial examination.
The initial exam may differ depending on the acupuncturist. I am interested in finding out about your whole health history. Many acupuncturists traditionally check the tongue and pulse as a means of diagnosis. However, I practice a Japanese style of acupuncture which uses palpation or pressing on certain points on the abdomen, arms and legs to give me feedback about what is going on with the body. Other than that, expect plenty of questions regarding your health and lifestyle.
Don't worry about the needles!
People fear hypodermic needles. The needles we typically think of are used for giving shots or taking blood. Acupuncture needles are nothing like this! They are super thin, about the width of two to three strands of hair and are rather flexible. Most people feel little to no sensation upon insertion. The truth is that most patients fall asleep.
Every needle comes in a sterile package and are single use, one time only needles. After use they are disposed of in the sharps container. There is absolutely no reusing of needles. Acupuncture needles are made from surgical grade stainless steel.
Just as acupuncture is with the conditions it treats, acupuncturists are multi-faceted in their approach to healing. In order to treat the full breadth of disease, we tend to train in multiple forms of therapy. So, it's not all needles! Massage therapy, cupping therapy and Chinese herbs are my specialties, as well.
Creating an inviting and relaxing office space was my first priority when I opened my business. That is because I know that your first acupuncture appointment is the moment my success hinges on. So, hesitate no more and schedule that appointment today!