Your first acupuncture appointment: the most important one!
Because it’s the beginning of your journey to health and well-being. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Zi said:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative or complementary therapy to mainstream medicine. However, many new patients do not know what to expect from their first visit.
There are several styles of acupuncture and a wide variety of techniques. All are valid and even though there may be a difference of opinion among acupuncturists, the most important thing from the patient’s point of view is that the treatment provides benefits and is given by an acupuncturist with training and experience.
Here are some things you should know before your first acupuncture appointment:
Arrive 15 minutes before your first acupuncture appointment
Depending on the country where you live in, you will have to fill out some documents providing your data and signing an informed consent and a data protection form in accordance with current regulations.
Getting to your appointment a little early will help the whole process run smoothly.
Acupuncture treats more than pain
Acupuncturists find it unfortunate when patients cancel their appointments because they are sick.
Acupuncture can treat more than one problem at a time
Acupuncture works in a holistic way.
During your first consultation you will be asked many questions in order to establish a complete picture of your health.
Acupuncture works in a holistic way and analyses the relationship and imbalance between the various organs or systems. Consequently it can simultaneously treat several disorders.
Don’t go to your first acupuncture appointment on an empty stomach
An important point that your acupuncturist may forget to mention is that you should have eaten something before the treatment.
It is not necessary to have ingested a complete meal. But it is better to eat something to help your body have enough energy and thus maximise the treatment potential.
Receiving an acupuncture session on an empty stomach can cause dizziness or even fainting.
You may not need to remove your clothes like for a massage
Your acupuncturist may need to access parts of your body that are normally under your clothes.
In this case they will be properly covered again so that you are not cold and only small parts of your skin are exposed where the needles have been inserted.
The most commonly used areas are arms and legs. Therefore I recommend wearing loose clothes so that sleeves and pants can be rolled up above elbows and knees.
Expect embarrassing questions
Most acupuncturists ask questions about various topics related to your health, your diet and your lifestyle.
Often these questions include asking for detailed descriptions of your bowel movements, urination and mesntruation for women.
The more details you can give, the more information your acupuncturist will have to make an accurate diagnosis.
You may be asked to show your tongue and have your pulse taken
Acupuncturists are interested in the state of your internal organs.
To find out they use four different diagnostic methods, the pulse, the tongue, abdominal and meridian palpation.
The radial pulse corresponds to three organs on the right side and another three on the left side.
In the same way different areas of the tongue correspond to different organs.
Additionally by palpating the abdomen and the meridians, they look for sensitive spots or areas.
With these techniques your acupuncturist can diagnose which organs are affected and need to be functionally stimulated.
Acupuncture needles are much thinner than syringe needles
If the thought of needles makes you uncomfortable, keep in mind that acupuncture needles are almost as thin as hair and are actually quite flexible.
Once the needles are put in place it is better not to move neither arms nor legs. Any movement could cause the needles to bend. Or it could cause discomfort or pain in the areas where they have been inserted.
Often people are surprised at how little they notice them and what a pleasant sensation they can produce after they have been inserted.
In fact, you can often hear a patient snore while resting on the treatment table.
Acupuncturists don’t reuse needles
The needles used by your acupuncturist have never been used on other patients.
This means that there is no chance of getting an infection.
The needles are made of surgical steel and are very thin and flexible. And this means that they produce less pain.
Acupuncturists use more than needles
Although needles may be their main tool, most acupuncturists have learned a variety of other therapeutic techniques that belong to Chinese Medicine.
Acupressure (pressure instead of needles on an acupuncture point), Tuina (Chinese therapeutic massage), Guasha (scraping of the skin), cupping (suction of the skin), moxibustion (heating of the skin with mugwort), and Chinese herbs are other very effective techniques to help solve your problems.
Depending on their training, their diagnosis and their level of skill, they may use more than just needles during your treatment.
Ready for your first acupuncture treatment?
The services and professional treatments of PUNTOS de Salud can help you regain your energy, relieve chronic pain and resolve other ailments. If you wish to obtain more information or request an appointment, the fastest way is to call us on 722 66 70 66.
One session is not enough to solve your problem
Your acupuncturist will make you a personalised treatment plan and this will include a minimum of sessions depending on your problem.
If your insurance covers acupuncture therapy, ask your acupuncturist to provide you with the invoices so you can send them to your insurance company for a refund.
Knowing in advance what to expect during your first acupuncture appointment can reassure you and make you feel calmer and more relaxed. And you will also know what questions to ask to avoid any surprises.
Communication with your acupuncturist is key. If there is ever a needle that bothers you during treatment, be sure to say so.
Acupuncture should be a pleasant and relaxing experience. If for some reason it were not so, your acupuncturist will want to know so that the situation can be addressed and fixed.
Take note of how you will feel after your first acupuncture appointment
Everyone has their own unique reaction to an acupuncture session.
Some people may feel very relaxed, others may feel more alert and aware of what is going on around them, and others may feel more or less the same as always.
As long as you don’t feel extreme pain or discomfort as a result of the treatment, these are all normal reactions. The best thing you can do is to become aware and accept the changes that occur in your body and be comfortable with them.
Also, take good notice of how you feel in the days and weeks after your treatment. It is important to give feedback to your acupuncturist about the improvements you have felt and the symptoms that still need attention.
Your first acupuncture appointment is the beginning of a journey towards your optimal well-being and health.
Give your body and mind a new and unique experience!