Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Typical Acupuncture Treatment

Here is a quick description of a typical acupuncture treatment in my office. Each acupuncturist has their own style and way of doing a treatment, but for those who are curious, this post will give you some thoughts on how a treatment goes.

For a first visit, I have you fill out paperwork, then come sit in our treatment room. I ask a stream of questions, including:
  • How is your energy level?
  • Do you sleep well? How much sleep do you usually get each night?
  • What is your stress level and what stresses you?
  • Do you feel you have a normal appetite for food?
  • What is your digestion like--do you have problems with bloating, constipation or diarrhea, stomach pain, acid reflux, etc.?
  • For women, what are your periods like?
  • Do you catch cold easily or have allergies?
  • Do you get hot or cold more easily?
  • Are you thirsty a lot?
. . .and others. Once we gather information from the questions, and whatever you share (and don't worry, lots of people start their sentences "I don't know if this sounds crazy, but I have. . ."), you'll hop (or climb slowly) onto the treatment table. I'll ask you if you're worried about the needles; if so, I'll do one or two right then so you can see they are nothing to be worried about. As I tell people, I'm a complete wimp. If it hurt to get acupuncture, I would never have gotten my second treatment, let alone decided to do acupuncture for my living.
Photo credit sgarbe84
Once you are relaxed on the treatment table (and my treatment table is cushy and comfortable) I will check your pulse and look at your tongue. These diagnostic indicators give a lot of information about how all your body's systems work together. Then I'll do the acupuncture. Once I've put the tiny sterile needles on different points, you rest in the treatment room while I write up lifestyle recommendations specific to your condition. I check on you once during your first visit, to be sure you remain comfortable. Most people prefer to relax without interruption after the first visit.

After I remove the itty-bitty needles, you will get up and change back into your clothes. Then I come back into the room and we discuss the treatment I recommend and your lifestyle recommendations. You will usually feel very relaxed and typically will sleep well that night. The positive effects may only last a day or so after the first visit, but after each visit the effect lasts longer.

If you have any questions about an acupuncture treatment, please feel free to write your question in the comments, or email me at greenacuclinic(at)