If you have never gone to an acupuncture clinic before, there may still be a lot of questions in your mind. You may be wondering exactly how the method works and how it might feel to have several needles sticking into your skin. You might feel more comfortable knowing what to expect at your first visit so that you get the maximum effects and benefits of the treatment.
A Typical Session
Acupuncture basically involves the process of inserting and manipulating several fine thin needles through your skin. The number of needles applied, points of insertion and depths of entry will vary depending on how the acupuncturist finds your condition and how best you can regain balance in your system as the Qi or vital energy improves its flow. The medical benefits of the technique is not fully known although thousands of people have reported positive results most commonly with problems like headache, muscle pain, nausea, sleep problems and dizziness. You may find more information at Inner Alchemy Acupuncture.
Acupuncture therapy usually lasts anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks in an outpatient setting with each week comprising of 1 to 3 sessions. You will initially be assessed about your current condition based on your medical history, current diagnosis, healthy habits, exercise and diet plan. The acupuncturist may still refer to laboratory findings and medical records to have an accurate diagnosis. During your first visit, you can expect to get needle application immediately after assessment or be asked to return the next day or in the same week to start treatment.
How It Works
An acupuncture session typically lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. Every practitioner may have a different style but the goal is still the same in helping your body get rid of pain, prevent stress and improve in normal functions. You will be asked to lie down on a flat comfortable surface in the supine, prone or side position. The acupuncturist then takes a pack of single-use sterile needles to be inserted in your body.
Expect body parts such as your head, neck, torso and extremities to be inserted with needles including your feet soles, toes, palms and fingers. In some cases, some needles are moved gently or stimulated with heat or electricity. In total, you can have anywhere from 5 to 30 needles on your skin left for 5 to 30 minutes.
During your initial visit, you can expect a brief sharp feeling once the needle is inserted in your skin but a majority report that acupuncture is not at all painful. Aching sensations may also be felt as each needle is inserted at the right depth. Most practitioners give emphasis on not hurting the patient in any session using pain-free techniques, helping the patient relax primarily and reducing stress.
Some may not try to access a specific point if the patient finds it intolerable. Other sensations to expect include warmth, coolness, tingling, dull aches and as if water is trickling on the pressure point. Most associated these with a very relaxed and euphoric sensation at the end.