Acupuncture has moved from complementary therapy to a mainstream approach for dealing with common conditions and improving treatment. Nearly everyone knows what acupuncture entails, but now that you are waiting for your first appointment, you probably starting wondering what really happen during that beginning session. Though you know that needles are involved, what else should you know?
We’ve addressed the most common questions and concerns about what to expect at the first acupuncture appointment. Here they are:
- There’s no pain
If you’re one of the many people who are fearful of needles or of pain, then you might be wary about acupuncture. However, you’re in for a surprise. An experienced acupuncturist will be inserting very thin needles in such a way that very little, if any, pain will be felt. Some sticks slide in without you knowing, while others are just a slight pressure. If you know what getting your eyebrows plucked or waxed feels like, then be ready for way less pain than that.
- It’s therapy, not a spa treatment
Remember: while the main goal is relaxation and accelerated healing, you’re not going for a massage and lounging in a mud bath. Acupuncture is a treatment for medical conditions and ailments, so you should go with healing in mind. If you are sick with a cold, acupuncture can help. Other issues like skin diseases, mental and psychological disorders, infections, stress, and beyond can be treated too.
- You’re going to be asked a lot of questions
A skilled acupuncturist is going to ask you a lot of embarrassing questions on top of other requests. Expect to be asked to stick out your tongue, have your abdomen palpated, and undergo a quick reflexology routine of the hands and feet. Beyond that, the acupuncturist will be interested in your lifestyle and overall health. They will want to know about urination, bowel movements, menstruation, reproduction issues, and beyond. Don’t be worried about getting too detailed—this helps them in their approach.
- All about the needles—or not
What surprises many newcomers are that acupunctures isn’t solely based on needles. Acupuncturists may also utilize other acupressure methods, such as massage, Guasha (skin scraping), cupping, and moxibustion. Depending on what your therapy involves, you may be receiving more than needle acupuncture.
- Be prepared for what happens afterwards
First, never go to an acupuncture treatment without eating, because you might not feel that great afterwards. Second, regardless of what you eat before, you are going to come out of the session feeling different. Some people say that they are relaxed while others become much more alert and awake. However, you should never feel any pain or nausea (unless you didn’t eat). A few days after your treatment, you should also take note of how you’re feeling so if you go back to the acupuncturist, you can tell them what worked or what didn’t.
Hopefully, this answers some of your questions about what to know before going to an acupuncture appointment. Remember that this is a doctor visit, where receiving care for a medical condition or ill is the main goal—but you’re going to come out feeling relaxed and rested nonetheless. Keep an open mind, and your first appointment will be a pleasant experience.