Picture of a community acupuncture treatment room.

 

7 Tips to prepare yourself for your treatment:

It’s your first acupuncture treatment, or maybe you’ve had acupuncture but it’s the first time you’ve visited a community acupuncture clinic.  The idea of placing itty bitty needles (they really are tiny) into your body to have some kind of a positive change is already foreign enough.  Let me break it down, and give you a bit of info to maybe make your experience feel a little less like walking into the great unknown.

  1.     Wear comfortable clothes, or bring them to change into.  You are going to be asked to try and relax, so how bout start with what you wear.  In community acupuncture we use the points from the elbows down, the knees down, the neck and head, feet, hands, ears, and face.  Clothing too restrictive (skinny jean are the devil) will make it difficult or impossible to roll your sleeves up far enough.
  2.     Arrive 15 minutes early.  If you are new to our clinic you will need to get acquainted with us before your treatment.  The front desk staff will tell you about the clinic and explain what to expect.  At that time you pay, make future appointments, and use the restroom.  If you have extra time, please feel free to help yourself to a nice cup of tea.  Paperwork is available for you to print out on our website; if you are unable to fill it out before your appointment, you can fill it out once you get to our office.  Hence the need to arrive 15 minutes early.
  3.     Silence your phone, or prepare your device for your music listening pleasure.  While the treatment room is dimly lit, and has plenty of relaxing sounds to listen to, you are welcome to bring your favorite tunes to relax too.  Bringing your favorite book is ok too as long as you are able to sit remotely still during the duration of your treatment.
  4.     Be prepared to sit still for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The goal is to rest comfortably for as long as you can.  So don’t drink a Venti Caramel Macchiato just before your treatment or you’ll have an uncontrollable urge to cut your treatment short.  Eating something before your treatment is good, not a huge meal, but something to prevent you from getting hungry and crashing.  Don’t make extravagant plans for after your treatment.  You will be relaxed and possibly a little dazed after acupuncture.  Heavy lifting or strenuous activity is also discouraged to prevent injury.
  5.     You may or may not notice much.  Some people don’t feel a thing, then all of a sudden, 3 treatments later their ailment is gone.  For some, they feel instant relief and relaxation, and have very vivid experiences during their acupuncture treatment.  More commonly people notice some “interesting” or “weird” (or new) sensations during their treatments, they feel relaxed maybe they even slept.  Their ailment has resolved for the day but comes back.  Then after 8 or so treatments they are finally ailment free, and come in for maintenance.  For most people their bodies require a treatment plan which you’re acupuncturist will discuss in detail with you during your treatment.
  6.     You might experience a healing crisis.  In Chinese Medicine we believe the root to most problems is what we call stagnation.  So the goal of acupuncture is to move energy and blood to help bring the body back to balance.  Sometimes that is an experience you feel, and everyone feels it differently.  It tends to bring up the issue, and magnify the problem before it starts to resolve.  I have a great analogy, it’s spring, and I live right next to a ditch.  The water to the canal was just turned on and the first few days of flow are nothing but trash, dead animals, mud and crud.  After a few days that gross water is cleared out and the ditch flows freely.   The ditch can now feed water to the fields, farms, and gardens.  Our bodies are similar in that at first when we stir up our issues, there is some discomfort, but if we wait for it we can feel the benefits of our smooth flowing energy.
  7.     You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Acupuncture is an amazing way to support yourself through a time of transition or when you want to make a change in your life.  You will experience relief and relaxation, clarity and motivation, and an improvement in quality of life.  When you give it a chance you will see that this medicine can really be life changing, it’s worth a try isn’t it?  Especially for how easy and noninvasive the process of acupuncture is.  You might even make some friends along the way.

BAC team