The Acupuncture Procedure: Step by Step
Today more and more people are turning to alternative medicine for their medical needs and conditions. However it is still fairly common for some new patients to be slightly skeptical. Below I have outlined a detailed look at the acupuncture procedure to help answer some of the common acupuncture questions we receive.
According to The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine the term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of points on the body using a variety of techniques.
Acupuncture procedure can be used to relieve pain as well as treat a range of conditions including:
• High Blood Pressure
• Stress Management
• Menstrual Irregularities
and many more…
How it Works
Thin needles are inserted into different acupuncture points on the body depending on individual symptoms and conditions. Acupuncture points are located all over the body including the head, arms, shoulders, legs, and feet.
Patients are usually surprised at how small acupuncture needles are. They are actually small enough to fit several through the middle of a hypodermic needle and most do not experience any discomfort from the needles since they are so thin. Acupuncture needles are also smooth, not hollow with cutting edges like hypodermic needles, which makes insertion much easier and less painful than when you receive injections or get your blood drawn.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Since needles are involved many patients have questions about pain related to the acupuncture procedure. For most acupuncture is completely painless. Some may experience slight discomfort while the needles are being inserted or adjusted but this quickly goes away after a few seconds.
For a more information you can read our Does Acupuncture Hurt blog post.
Your First Visit
For some the first visit is simply a consultation to go over any questions or concerns about the acupuncture treatment process. Once comfortable, many patients choose to have their first treatment the same day as their consultation while others choose to set a separate appointment. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as it takes to make you completely comfortable with the process before continuing
If a fear of pain is what’s holding you back ask the acupuncturist to insert a needle in an acupuncture point in your hand so that you can experience it and become comfortable before going through the entire process.
Visit frequency and length depends on each patient’s individual symptoms and needs. However, in most cases each acupuncture treatment will last between ten to thirty minutes. Seeing as no two bodies heal the same or at the same rate it is difficult to give a treatment frequency outline until a patient has been assessed by the doctor. Patients may notice a decrease in symptoms after their first visit while those dealing with chronic ailments may require several treatments before experiencing relief.
Photo by: Two More Days