What to Expect

What to expect before your treatment:

Before your first treatment, you will fill out a medical intake form which will be reviewed during a detailed consultation.  Your primary reason for seeking acupuncture will be discussed along with your health from head to toe.  In Oriental medicine, the state of your entire body and mind matters.  Also, we may look at your tongue and feel your pulse, which helps tell us what is going on internally.  After a full evaluation, a Pattern of Disharmony is determined, which is your energetic imbalance or diagnosis.

Next, we will explain what is going on with your health according to Oriental medicine and what we can do to help you.  We will also give you suggestions that you can do, such as dietary changes, exercises, or Chinese herbs, which will help your process of healing.  The more you comply, the better you will respond to your treatment.

What to expect during your treatment:

You should expect a pain free acupuncture treatment that is very relaxing.  Many people wont try acupuncture because they are afraid of the needles, when people experience their first treatment, the common response is “that’s it”.  The needles do not hurt.  If at any time a needle does hurt, you should let your acupuncturist know and that needle should be adjusted or removed.

You will come to learn that there are certain sensations that are OK during acupuncture, such as aching, heaviness, warmth, tingling and other sensations that are Qi sensations or what I call body responses.  These sensations are different from needle pain and are good to feel, although you may not feel anything other than a tiny pinch upon a needle insertion.

Trigger Point Acupuncture is different from traditional acupuncture, the treatment elicits much stronger sensations and can be painful for some people.  What is felt is the muscle twitching, which is the trigger point releasing.  This can be painful, but most people say it is a “good pain” and it isn’t too bad and the results are worth it.  If trigger points are present and the cause of the problem, I have found that this is the fastest and most effective treatment.

What to expect after your treatment:

You may experience some improvement from the first treatment which can be immediate or take a day or two, but it may take several treatments before you notice a change.  Some people experience muscle soreness – the type after a workout – for about a day after treatment, especially those that receive trigger point acupuncture.

Acupuncture is very relaxing.  You may be very relaxed and calm following your treatment, I call this “acu-high”.  Many people ask if it is OK to drive after acupuncture treatments.  The answer is yes, just be aware of how relaxed you may be and stay alert.

There are positive side effects besides relaxation from acupuncture, which include increased energy, better sleep, and a better sense of well being.  Other side effects that have been reported have been lower blood pressure (one patient failed to mention she had high blood pressure) and weight loss.

Occasionally, patients report they were very tired after a treatment and needed to go home and rest.  This usually happens on the first treatment and does not continue on subsequent visits.  If it does, you should report this to your acupuncturist, the treatment time can be shortened for a few sessions so it does not wipe you out.  Over time, the treatments will be more energizing and wont need to be shortened.

You should drink a lot of water to help flush out toxins that have been released from the treatment.

After acupuncture, you should avoid intense stimulation to help get the most from your treatment, such as vigorous exercise, spicy or very cold food (ice cream) and sex.


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