Acupuncture has been helping patients overcome disease and injury for more than 5,000 years. As with any other medical professional, you will be asked to complete a comprehensive health history questionnaire. The acupuncturist will then interview the client, asking questions about their primary health concerns and lifestyle habits. During the interview, the acupuncture practioner will carefully examine the client in accordance with sound medical procedures. While these practices are indeed becoming more mainstream; your first time may seem a little strange. The acupuncturist will examine three pulse points at the wrist of each hand to further determine the flow of the 12 meridians.
Following the interview, you will receive a diagnosis and treatment will then commence. During a typical treatment session, about a dozen needles will be used. It is important to note that the quantity of needles used does not correspond with the intensity of the treatment, rather the precise placement of the needles is what dictates treatment effectiveness.
You may feel a slight sting or prick upon the initial insertion; however, once the needle is inserted there should be no pain and you should feel comfortable for the duration of the treatment. If you do experience pain, numbness, or discomfort; please immediately notify the acupuncturist.
The length of a treatment will vary from patient to patient but atypical session lasts about a half an hour. During the treatment, the acupuncturist may use the following:
- Moxibustion: the procedure of heating the needles with dried herb sticks to activate the acupuncture point.
- Cupping: applies suction to the skin using glass cups; designed to relieve energy blocks.
- Herbs: Chinese herbs may be administered through teas, pills, and capsules to supplement acupuncture treatment.
- Electro-stimulation: used for pain relief from fibromyalgia, this technique provides electrical stimulation to two to four acupuncture needles.
While these techniques are probably a departure from what you may encounter in a typical American doctor’s office; rest assured that more than a billion people trust in the effective results of acupuncture.