What Should I Expect From An Acupuncture Appointment? Acupuncture treatments usually run from 45 to 90 minutes. It begins with an interview regarding your overall health. The length of the interview depends on your condition and the extent of your health status. From the interview, your practitioner will conduct a pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis, and physical exam to determine what your condition is, according to Oriental Medicine theory, and select the appropriate acupuncture points and additional modalities. You will then be asked to lie or sit down in a position of comfort and effectiveness for needling. The acupuncture needles will be placed and retained for approximately 15-30+ minutes followed or accompanied by any additional treatment methods.
Is Acupuncture Painful? Pain is not an expected or desired response to acupuncture treatment, though it is recognized that needling certain points may be sensitive. Your oriental medicine practitioner is professionally trained in proper insertion techniques to minimize discomfort. Also, acupuncture needles are very thin unlike hypodermic needles (it takes up to a dozen acupuncture needles to equal one hypodermic needle) and are ergonomically shaped for comfort upon insertion. Most patients feel very relaxed and even fall asleep when left with the needles and wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed.
Is Acupuncture Safe? Acupuncture is safe and without any serious side effects. The stainless steel needles themselves are pre-sterilized, and they are disposed of after each treatment. Acupuncture has been used by millions of Americans and is recognized by our major U.S. Health and Safety Branches: National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization(WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices, and rates them in the category of “safe and effective.”
The NIH provided the statement that “The data in support of acupuncture is as strong as those for many accepted western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.” (NIH Consensus on Acupuncture).
The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the practice of acupuncture and even lists researched and proven indications that acupuncture treats effectively and safely. A complete list can be seen at:
Can Children Be Treated With Acupuncture or what if I am afraid of needles? Children of all ages are treated and respond well to acupuncture and herbal treatments. In addition, young children or those apprehensive of the use of acupuncture needles may be treated without needles using massage and bodywork, acupressure, magnetic, moxa and seed therapy. In addition, herbal formulas are usually prescribed to enhance the acupuncture or acupressure treatments and to provide further care between treatments as well.
Will Acupuncture Fix My Problem Immediately? Acupuncture is not just a “quick fix.” Remember that acupuncture is addressing the underlying cause of a problem therefore it takes time especially in long term chronic conditions. You may experience immediate results, especially if the problem is of an acute nature, and in conditions of injury, pain can be significantly lowered or alleviated by an acupuncture treatment. most people see long lasting effects from the treatments as they move towards better health. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine functions of the body and brings them to a balance so depending upon the status of your health, the amount of appointments needed will vary.
Your practitioner may suggest herbal medicine for your care which complements acupuncture by working internally to improve your health and the alleviation of your symptoms. The combination of the two enhances treatment and achieves quicker and more optimal results. Your practitioner will educate you further on what course of treatment is recommended for your concerns at your appointment after the appropriate exam has taken place.