Like cupping and meditation, acupuncture is becoming a trendy wellness therapy, however, it’s definitely nothing new. It’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries where it’s thought to help heal imbalances and regulate your flow of chi throughout your body.
At specific points, your body is stimulated and the energy flow along these channels can be changed, redirected and rebalanced to a healthier order.
What to Expect in Your First Session of Acupuncture
First of all, acupuncture isn’t typically a “do it once” type of thing. It could require a few treatments before you see improvement. It’s also not just for relieving pain. Acupuncture can be used for treating just about anything, including anxiety and stress.
With that out of the way, here are some things to expect in your first acupuncture session:
Having a Personal Intake Via Forms and Conversation
During your first acupuncture appointment, you won’t be placed in a room right away awaiting your acupuncture treatment. Beforehand, you’ll have to fill out a form that asks questions about everything from your medical history to your bowel movements’ shape when you’re stressed.
You’ll then have a personalized conversation about your mental and physical health with your acupuncturist. The detailed intake may cover both Eastern and Western topics like:
- Bowel movements
- Skin allergies
- Menstrual cycles
You’ll be asked these and many other questions specific to Chinese medicine to help place you in a diagnostic category.
In addition, you’ll learn about what will occur during your first acupuncture session. For instance, you’ll find out that generally, for each treatment, acupuncture uses anywhere from six to 15 tiny needles and the practitioner leaves the needles in for around 10 to 20 minutes. They might twist the needles to add effect. You’ll learn that you might feel a slight pinch, ache, sting or some pain as they insert the acupuncture needle.
Eating Before You Arrive
You’ll want to eat a couple hours before your appointment. While you don’t want to arrive for your appointment very full, you also don’t want to show up on an empty stomach either as it could leave you feeling physically depleted and lightheaded.
Once you start your appointment, you’ll want to relax. When you relax before the practitioner sets the needles, it will help keep your nerves and muscles receptive and relaxed, making it easier on the practitioner. Try taking some deep, slow breathes if you’re worried to help calm your nerves.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is suggested for helping address various health conditions, including:
- Chronic pain (like back pain, headaches, neck pain)
- Sinus congestion
- Weight loss
Some individuals use acupuncture for promoting fertility. You can also use it as part of an addiction treatment plan or to quit smoking.
One study involving individuals with low back pain found acupuncture was linked with better function and reduced pain intensity immediately after acupuncture, compared to individuals who didn’t receive acupuncture.
A few other studies on acupuncture for anxiety showed acupuncture is useful in general anxiety treatment.
If you’re having a hard time managing pain or if you’re dealing with other health problems where conventional methods aren’t working, it might be worth it to try Phoenix acupuncture services. Just consult with your doctor first.