What to Expect During your First Acupuncture Treatment

So you've decided to try Acupuncture, or maybe you're just curious about what it's like. Either way, congratulations on making the first step towards exploring a natural, alternative, and holistic treatment method! Although it may seem daunting to have a dozen needles inserted into your skin, Acupuncture is an extremely safe and beneficial therapy that instills a harmonious balance into your body and even prevents future illness.

What to Expect During your First Acupuncture Treatment

What to Expect During your First Acupuncture Treatment

Before the Treatment

It's best to arrive a bit early to your first appointment we have you fill out basic paperwork and a consent form prior to treatment.  It is also important to arrive having eaten a snack or light meal, since the treatment will require a source of energy to derive the healing power from. Getting needled on an empty stomach may cause dizziness or even fainting once the needles are removed. And lastly, wearing loose clothing will allow us easy access to commonly needled areas such as your lower legs, arms, back, and abdomen. If you are unable to change before your appointment, make sure you are comfortable removing some clothing to be partially covered with blankets during the treatment.

The Consultation

When meeting with us, we will ask you the main reason why you came, or your "Chief Complaint". This can be one thing or quite a few. We will then ask you a series of questions to gain a better understanding of your personal constitution. These questions will range from details about your digestion and appetite to temperature preferences and daily emotions. Some of the questions might seem strange or random but rest assured that every detail is crucial for us to be able to diagnose the problem and understand the root of the illness. This is also when information on the pulse and tongue is gathered. We ask to see your tongue to examine the colour and texture, which we have been trained to analyse to determine the health of various organs and parts of your body. Your radial pulse (at your wrist) is also felt to develop a picture of health of the entire body.

During the Treatment

We will then instruct you the position we would like you to lay on the massage table (typically either front up or back up). Once you are given enough time to remove clothing and get comfortable, we will then begin inserting needles into various locations of your body. Common areas needled include the hands, arms, abdomen, back, lower legs, and feet. Although you might feel a tiny prick upon insertion, the needles are so thin, many people do not even feel them. However some people experience a sensation called "de qi"; the slight pull, dull ache, or tingling feeling that occurs when the needle hits the desired channel and breaks up the qi blockage. Some do not feel this while others are more sensitive, it entirely depends on your own body. Some Acupuncturists believe this is a good sign that the treatment is working. After about 4-20 needles are inserted, you will be left to rest for about 30 minutes, although if you are nervous, we will often check up on you to ensure you are comfortable.

How is Being Poked by Needles Relaxing?

Although the needle insertion may be a bit nerve racking the first few times, once they are inside you won't feel them at all. Instead you might experience a pleasant relaxing sensation, and possibly even fall asleep! This is when the needles are strengthening your energy meridians, breaking up stuck qi and blood, and circulating energy throughout your entire body. This "Acupuncture high" will often last hours after the treatment.

After the Treatment

Once enough time has been left for your qi to make a complete circuit throughout all the meridians in your body, we will gently remove the needles. We may even include other treatments such as cupping or moxibustion. You will be given time to relax and get dressed. We will then instruct you what your ideal treatment plan will be, including how often and when you should make appointments at the clinic.

The overall appointment typically lasts 45-50 minutes. Acupuncture is a natural and highly effective therapeutic method can treat a vast array of mental, emotional, and physical problems. Interested in making an appointment? Email info@harmonydonegal.com call or text 085 7349390 or private message on facebook.com/harmonydonegal