What to Expect in Your First Acupuncture Treatment

Updated: Jan 19



What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on the principal that the body's Life force or vital energy (Qi) circulates along meridians or pathways of energy. Each meridian corresponds to a particular organ such as the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and spleen. It is along these meridian pathways where the insertion of thin needles makes it possible to influence the body's natural ability to heal. Acupuncture works on the physical body as well as the energetic body, treating not only physical ailments, but emotions as well.


How Many Acupuncture Treatments Do You Need to See Results?

The number of acupuncture treatments you will need depends upon the nature, severity, and duration of your condition. For acute conditions, you may only need one or two treatments. The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so for more chronic issues, a series of six to ten treatments may be required.


If you have a condition that has been getting progressively worse over the years, you may need to continue treatments over a period of months. For very painful conditions, several treatments per week may significantly reduce the overall time needed to resolve the condition.


Even for people who are healthy, acupuncture can be a great way to maintain health and prevent problems, by strengthening the immune system and addressing potential health concerns at the beginning stages.


What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture works by activating the body's innate healing ability, so it can be beneficial for any health condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented many symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown in controlled clinical trials to be effectively treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture can treat the following:

  • Chronic and acute pain

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

  • Anxiety

  • Infertility

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Arthritis pain

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Nausea

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will resemble and feel like hypodermic needles. Hypodermic needles are 114 times larger than acupuncture needles. Acupuncture uses hair-thin, flexible needles that you will hardly feel when inserted.


Everyone experiences acupuncture differently. Some people feel only mild sensations during a treatment while others experience a stronger sensation. Common sensations are tingling, heaviness, warmth, a dull ache, or a pulsing feeling. This is normal and relates to the energy moving through the body. These sensations usually dissipate quickly. At Arise Acupuncture, your comfort is our utmost concern, so every treatment is adjusted accordingly.


Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. Acupuncture is used by millions of people worldwide. Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. As required by law, we use pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your safety.


What Should You Expect from Your First Acupuncture Session?

Here is what you can expect from your first time visit at Arise Acupuncture:


Once you schedule an appointment, an intake form will be emailed to you. You can print and fill out the form beforehand or arrive 15 minutes early to your appointment time and complete it at our office. The intake form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Chinese medicine takes everything into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex, so this information is vital.


During the consultation, we will discuss and review your health concerns. An examination of your pulse and tongue, two of the basic diagnostic methods of Chinese medicine, will be done. We will then discuss your treatment plan. Once the needles are inserted, you will lie down comfortably for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on what is being addressed. Most people find acupuncture very relaxing and invigorating.


Your first visit includes a consultation and an acupuncture treatment. During a session, our acupuncturist, Dr. Arielle, will ask you questions that will let us formulate a treatment plan. During the treatment, we will insert thin, sterile needles into the relevant areas, after which you will rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Most people use this time to relax—some even fall asleep. If appropriate, we may use modalities such as cupping, moxibustion, and gentle bodywork as well.

What Should You Wear Before an Acupuncture Treatment?

Ideally, wearing loose clothing is best, with easy access from the elbows and knees down. Back treatments typically require access to the whole back. At our office, drapes are available and offered for your comfort.


What Should You Eat Before an Acupuncture Treatment?

It is recommended to eat at least a light snack before coming in for a treatment. Acupuncture can lower your blood sugar, so it is best to eat prior to treatment and again right after.


Contact us online today or call 619-356-1225 to schedule an acupuncture session. We are very accommodating to first time patients.


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