If you've never experienced it, scheduling and attending your first acupuncture treatment may seem scary, painful, or dangerous. In reality, quite the opposite is true! First and foremost, acupuncture is extremely safe and painless. Plus, it comes with a plethora of holistic health benefits!
Whether you have an appointment on the books or are still considering if acupuncture may be right for you, we want to support you! Our goal is to provide actionable information for you so that you can feel prepared when you walk into your first acupuncture session.
Wondering how acupuncture works, what to expect, or how to prepare for your first treatment? We’ve got you covered!
What is Acupuncture, and How Does it Work?
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practiced for over 2,000 years to treat everything from stress to anxiety to physical pain. Using fine needles, acupuncture focuses on specific points within the body to stimulate blood flow and increase energy levels.
Throughout an acupuncturist's studies, they will learn precise points located within the body as well as the paths between these points, known as meridians. By lending focus to specific trigger points, an acupuncturist can stimulate corresponding meridians to relieve certain symptoms. This is part of what makes acupuncture a holistic and individualized treatment approach. Before your first acupuncture session, your acupuncturist may have you complete an intake form or consultation to learn about your goals. This allows your acupuncturist to customize your treatment and ensure you receive the best possible results.
How Should You Prepare For Your First Treatment?
Before you head off to your first acupuncture session, there are some things that you can do to get your mind and body ready. By taking a few steps to prepare, you can walk into your session confident, open-minded, and ready to receive the benefits of holistic medicine.
Acupuncture is a powerful treatment that will improve energy, mood, and mobility. However, if you want the best results, planning and ensuring you know what you want will help you get them.
This can include setting actionable goals like “I want to feel less depressed” or “I want to be able to walk with my dog without feeling pain.” These goals should be realistic (acupuncture won’t be able to make you fly or run at the speed of a train), measurable, and attainable.
Typically, your acupuncturist will reach out before your appointment with intake materials to better understand your goals. Not only does this help your acupuncturist create an individualized acupuncture treatment plan to achieve your goals, but it also can help you decide what you'd like to achieve through acupuncture. For example, when you book an acupuncture appointment at Be Well Acupuncture, you'll receive a detailed health history intake form.
Communicating about your expectations not only helps your acupuncturist to gain a greater understanding of your goals, but it also helps ensure you're getting what you need from your acupuncture treatments!
Comfort is Key
One of the many holistic benefits of acupuncture can’t be seen with the naked eye. It’s a feeling. Going to an acupuncture session is an act of self-care. You decided to take time out of your day to do something that will benefit your health. Keep that idea in mind when you’re getting dressed for your acupuncture appointment.
During your treatment, your acupuncturist may ask you to expose certain areas of your body to better access a specific trigger point or meridian. For this reason, loose-fitting clothing is the best choice. Plus, who wants to experience an acupuncture session in jeans? Not us! During warmer months, sleeveless shirts are ideal, but if the weather is cold or you worry about getting a chill, layers are a great option!
Drink Some Water
Not only is water a basic need for every human, it also helps to regulate our internal systems. When we’re dehydrated, we force our bodies to work under sub-optimal conditions and disrupt the balance our body needs. During your acupuncture treatment, the goal is to restore balance. By hydrating, you’re allowing the acupuncturist to focus on deeper imbalances, ones that a glass of water may not fix.
Will Your First Acupuncture Treatment Hurt?
Acupuncture isn't a painful treatment. In fact, most people feel nothing during their sessions and actually report feeling more energy and less pain following their acupuncture treatment. Your first acupuncture session may stand out as you continue your acupuncture journey. Sometimes, your first acupuncture session may be more intense than the following sessions. However, many people describe the feeling as intense, not necessarily as painful. Some patients feel a wave of energy or other unfamiliar sensations throughout their body
Even though they might be uncomfortable, these feelings are a good sign and show that your body is releasing qi energy. But don’t panic if you don't feel these sensations! The acupuncture treatments are still working. Everyone experiences holistic medicine in a unique way, and you may not feel the same sensations as your friends or family.
After Your Treatment
After an acupuncture session, it's not uncommon to feel energized and experience an elevated mood. Sometimes, people experience a bit of light-headedness upon immediately completing an acupuncture session. It’s okay to take a few moments to allow the energy and endorphins released by the treatment to find balance in your body. It can be overwhelming, in the best way possible! For this reason, most acupuncturists advise patients to avoid strenuous activities directly after an acupuncture treatment.
You can pretty much engage in regular physical activities following your acupuncture treatments. However, taking time to allow your body to recover and heal can be beneficial for some people's wellness journeys. Acupuncture encourages healing in the body, but give yourself some rest, so you can experience the full range of benefits that acupuncture has to offer.
Be Prepared to Feel Better After Acupuncture
Getting ready for your first acupuncture treatment doesn't have to be as complicated as rocket science or as stressful as public speaking! Once the logistics of scheduling and securing an appointment are complete, you can sit back, relax, and focus on taking care of yourself. At the end of the day, self-love is one of the best forms of preparation!
If you want to experience your first acupuncture session, you’re in luck! At Be Well Acupuncture, we are dedicated to improving your health and supporting your wellness journey. Contact us on our website or via phone to schedule your first appointment. We can’t wait to introduce you to everything that acupuncture has to offer!