The Effects of Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help a variety of health issues. Nowadays, many people use acupuncture to reduce pain and inflammation, improve digestion, balance their hormones, and to help them relax. But what can you expect when you get acupuncture for the first time?
Before your acupuncture appointment, it’s important to eat a snack or light meal. If you arrive with an empty stomach, it’s possible that you might feel dizzy or faint during your treatment. It’s also important to take it a bit easy after your treatment so you don’t undo the beneficial effects of acupuncture.
During your treatment, the acupuncturist may check a variety of clinical signs, like the pulse, tongue, and palpate the abdomen and extremities. We want to know exactly what is going on within your body so we know how best to treat your symptoms. This is because we don’t treat the symptom itself – we treat the pattern of disharmony – or imbalance – that is responsible for the symptom. Any specific symptom could be caused by several patterns of disharmony.
When the acupuncturist inserts needles, you might feel any number of sensations: a dull ache, a brief sharp zing, a mild electrical sensation, warmth, cold, or nothing at all. All of these are normal sensations during needling. For the most part, the initial sensation is brief, and most people find acupuncture quite comfortable and relaxing.
There are many styles of acupuncture, but, most of the time, you will rest for a while after needles are inserted. Some people fall asleep (hard to believe until you experience how relaxing acupuncture can be!). Some patients enjoy listening to a guided meditation while they rest with the needles, others like to listen to music and close their eyes.
Depending on what health issue you’re getting treatment for, acupuncture and related modalities can sometimes offer quick results, but it sometimes takes many treatments to produce lasting results. Following your acupuncturist’s treatment recommendations will help you gain those lasting results. That said, if you haven’t noticed any changes after a few visits, check-in with your practitioner.
How often you should come for treatment will depend on the symptoms you are looking for help with and your overall condition. Your acupuncturist should make a treatment plan for you that takes all that into consideration. In East Asian countries, it’s not uncommon to receive daily treatment for a short period of time to gain traction on a health issue.
After your treatment, it’s best to try to have an easy, relaxing day. Try not to schedule intense physical activities or a sauna after treatment. Try to avoid coffee and alcohol the day of your treatment. Take note of how you feel for the rest of the day, especially the primary symptoms you sought treatment for, and report back to your acupuncturist. It helps us to fine-tune the treatment if we know how you responded to the previous treatment.
Want to find out more about acupuncture and how it can help you? Contact us today.