Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncturists use sterile and disposable needles. Your skin is cleaned with alcohol before the needle is inserted. These needles are an FDA-approved medical device that are only used on one site and then discarded properly. There is no risk of infections or transmission of disease.
Since acupuncture is very safe, you should not experience any side effect other than the occasional bruise and maybe some very mild bleeding at the injection site. Some people may experience nauseas, dizziness and fainting. In very rare and negligent cases, nerve damage and punctured organs were reported.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
Acupuncture needles are hair thin needles. Some people think they will experience the same pain as they would when they are getting their blood drawn but that is not the case.
The pain is more like a mosquito bite. They are actually 25 to 50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle. Since they are so thin and the insertion is done very quickly, most patients do not feel anything at all.
Some patients are more sensitive and feel a mild prick during the needle insertion. The needle insertion can be followed by an, “electrical sensation”, slight sensation of cramping, tingling, numbness, soreness, warmth and/or pressure . This is a normal and positive reaction to the acupuncture treatment. Patients that are stagnant might not feel the “electrical” sensations as strong as someone that has better circulation.
Even if you do not experience the “electrical sensation” the treatment is still working. Not everyone feels it.
Once the needles are all in, you should not feel pain or discomfort, many patients actually fall asleep as they are so relaxed.
How does Acupuncture work?
When acupuncture needles are inserted the central nervous system is stimulated. By stimulating the central nervous system a release of several chemicals occurs. These chemicals include endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer), neurotransmitters and neurohormones.
Acupuncture increases circulation, decreases inflammation and regulates serotonin. Acupuncture has been shown to have a positive affect in immune reactions, blood pressure, blood flow and body temperature.
What should I expect
for my first treatment?
Once you schedule your appointment with me, I will email you the forms that must be filled out. You are welcome to fill them out online, print them and fill out by hand or fill them out in the office. If you are filling them out in the office, please arrive 15-20min before your scheduled appointment. Please fill out the paperwork as accurately has possible.
The initial treatment is about 1-1.5 hours.
Once the paperwork is submitted and reviewed, I will take a complete health history and ask you questions about your current symptoms, diet and lifestyle.
Your pulse will be felt and I will observe your tongue.
I will then decided the best treatment plan for you. If needed I will give you a gown to change into.
Gentle music will be playing in the background and needles will be retained for about 20 min. I will leave the room so that you can relax. Meditating, deep breathing or napping are great ways to pass the time.
A glass of water is recommenced after treatment.
How can I prepare for my
Arrive a few minuets early and be relaxed and hydrated.
Have the paperwork filled out.
Do not come in on an empty stomach. It isn’t advisable to have a full meal, but at least a snack will help your body have energy to maximize the benefits of the treatment. Receiving acupuncture on an empty stomach may lead to lightheadedness, dizziness or even fainting.
Avoid alcohol, tobacco, food or drinks that color your tongue (such as coffee) immediately prior to treatment or just following a treatment.
Avoid vigorous exercise or sexual activity 1 hour before treatment
Do not brush your tongue 24 hours prior to your appointment. The color, texture and coating of the tongue can help with diagnosing.
Wear loose clothing so that your arms and legs are accessible for treatment.
What are the advantages of acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been around longer than western medicine and with way less side effects. It promotes the body's natural healing abilities. It is used for both prevention and maintenance. Acupuncture is for so much more than just pain relief. Athletes use acupuncture since they feel it enhances their performance and recovery. Acupuncture can also help with dependency issues of alcohol, smoking and drugs.
How many sessions will I need?
Acupuncture works as a cumulative treatment. The more treatments you can get per week the faster you will start feeling better. Many people feel better right after their first session and prolong their next treatment session to see that their symptoms slowly return. sThat is why I suggest most people come in 2 times per week for the first, maybe second week, nd then one session a week after that. Some may need to come even 3 times per week depending on the severity of their symptom.
Once the initial symptom is resolved, acupuncture session can be tapered to a maintenance level.
You can never have too much Acupuncture but you can have too little.
How will I feel after my treatment
After acupuncture treatment most people are very calm, relaxed and feel euphoric. You might feel like napping as you body is healing. You may or may not feel better right away. Acupuncture causes a lot of chemical reactions in the body and everyone deals with it differently.
Although, the needles have been removed the effects of acupuncture are still working. It is advised to relax, mediate, read a book or just sit quietly after treatment. Do not participate in strenuous activities and exercises.
For the next 2 or 3 days your body will be healing itself. In rare cases, some people may experience flu-like symptoms, aching, mild headaches and slight fever and/or a short term flare up in symptom. This is due to the healing process also know as the healing crisis, so do not worry if this occurs to you as it is a completely normal reaction . Do not use ice to alleviate any symptoms as this will slow down the healing process. Make sure to stay hydrated to facility the detox effect of acupuncture.