From relieving chronic pain to facial rejuvenation, acupuncture is a natural treatment that boasts many benefits, without negative side effects. Acupuncture has been used for over 5,000 years to treat a myriad of illnesses in the Eastern world by unlocking energy channels, or meridians, within your body. It is only now becoming recognized in the United States as an effective treatment. However, its popularity is growing quickly.
We have compiled a list of things you should expect when venturing onto your first acupuncture appointment (and beyond).
1. Initial consult. If you thought your family physician asks a lot of questions, you’re in for a surprise. Acupuncturists spend much – sometimes all – of the initial visit asking you questions about your diet, lifestyle, work life, intimate life and even your bowel movements. Even if you share every meal you eat on Instagram, this may seem like a lot of inquiring for a short, 15-minute session, which is typically how long the actual treatment lasts. However, this interview process is a major part of why acupuncture is so effective. By getting a full overview of your life, a licensed acupuncturist can best come up with a treatment plan that will work for you. It helps them determine which acupoints to needle and which meridians need to be opened.
2. Needles are not scary. Many people won’t try acupuncture due to their phobia of needles. However, a large acupuncture need is 1/4th of the width of a sewing needle – 0.25mm to be exact! In many cases, you won’t even feel it.
3. You get what you pay for. As with any health practice, be weary of treatments that seem to cheap. Be sure that your acupuncturist is licensed if your State requires it, and expect to pay anywhere from $85 to $150 per hour. In some cases, you may be able to get a supervised treatment at an acupuncture school for less without risking your safety.
4. Follow up treatments. Typically, the initial consult is the longest appointment with future treatments lasting 15 to 30 minutes. Your acupuncturist will give you a specific treatment plan, including how often you need to come in.
5. Effects are often felt quickly. One of the major benefits of acupuncture is that its effects are often felt shortly after the initial treatments, sometimes immediately. You may find that numerous areas of your health are improved as properly releasing energy blocks affects your body as a whole.