What to Expect From Acupuncture Treatment
It’s completely normal to feel nervous before your first acupuncture session. In actuality, most people enjoy the experience, finding it relaxing and therapeutic. Read on to become informed about what to expect with acupuncture treatment and get on with the healing!
Consultation & First Treatment
Your consultation and first treatment are both included in your first visit, during which time you will meet with your acupuncturist to learn about your health history and lifestyle, as well as an examination. You should dress in comfortable, loose clothing, both for relaxation purposes and for access to your acupuncture points. The consultation will include examining the tongue and feeling the pulse. The information gathered will help your acupuncturist develop an individual treatment plan based on your diagnosis.
Once a plan is determined, you are ready for your first treatment. Your acupuncturist will choose the acupuncture points and begin treatment.
Sterile needles will be inserted shallowly into the skin. Acupuncture needles are completely different from those used for injections. They are hair-thin and flexible. Most people do not feel any pain, but rather a dull, heavy or even vibrating sensation that they find extremely relaxing. Once the needles are in place your acupuncturist will leave the room and allow you to relax for up to a half hour. Take advantage of this time to relax! Your practitioner will check on you periodically, and painlessly remove the needles on completion. We often use our therapeutic essential oil blends to help encourage your body’s natural healing.
Some may feel tired after treatment due to the relaxing nature of the visit. However, there is no downtime and you can return to your daily routine immediately. Most say they feel incredibly calm.
Duration of treatment depends on a host of circumstances. You and your practitioner will discuss your progress and expectations. Some find improvement after one session, while others need several sessions to see improvement. We usually say that for each month you’ve been experiencing an issue, you will need one treatment. So if something has been bothering you for a year, it might take 12 treatments for complete recovery.
Why does it work?
It would take hours to fully explain why acupuncture works, but at a most basic level, acupuncture works because it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. In most people, the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is often in over-drive; we’re often working too hard, exercising too hard, and basically stressing out, which causes our bodies to over-produce cortisol. The parasympathetic nervous system is all about “rest and digest.” During times of rest is when our bodies are able to heal, so allowing this aspect of the nervous system to function more effectively essentially allows for a greater capacity to heal.