Acupuncture: What to Expect

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Acupuncture: What to Expect


As your practitioner, my goal is to act as the catalyst for creating positive changes in your health and well-being.  In order to do so, we need to establish a relationship of comfort and trust.  I will do everything in my power to provide a safe and relaxing environment for you.

During your session you will be seated in a peaceful, private area while I ask you a series of health-related questions.  Since I treat the whole person, not just the symptoms, these questions allow me to determine the patterns of imbalance within your body.  After this discussion, I will come up with a “point prescription” for you.  This is an individualized series of acupuncture points designed to provide the maximum benefit.

You will then lie down on a massage table topped with a BioMat, and I may palpate areas of your body to assist with forming my final diagnosis.  I will look at your tongue and take your pulse. After this comes the insertion of needles.

These needles are not like anything that you would experience at the doctor’s office.  They are about the same size as a human hair. And at this point I will make a confession: even though I am an acupuncturist, I am somewhat needle-phobic and VERY needle-sensitive.  Yet I get treatments on a regular basis with no problem at all.

After the insertions I may gently manipulate the needles to get “qi.”  Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the energetic substance that comes to the needles and creates the positive changes necessary for a successful treatment.  Since we are all unique, we all experience this feeling of qi in a different way.  Most patients feel a dull ache around the needle, but sensations of pressure, movement, and warmth are also frequently reported.

Once the needles are in, I may choose to do an adjunct treatment to increase the benefits of the session.  This may include cupping, guasha, magnets, or other therapies.

So, what effects should you expect from your first treatment?  The results are unique for each individual, but there are a few things that most people agree on.  Acupuncture is incredibly relaxing. Many of my patients sleep through the treatment.  Others stay awake, but completely zone out.  Regardless, you are going to feel happy, relaxed, and peaceful when the treatment is over.  This feeling of serenity usually lasts a while, even days.  People who have pain generally feel relief right after treatment.  Those people who come in claiming, “But there’s nothing wrong with me right now!” are usually surprised at the unexpected effects of treatment.  Patients report better sleep, digestion, increased immunity, and an overall sense of well-being.