What to Expect During Your First Acupuncture Treatment

By Published On: January 4, 2022Categories: Acupuncture, Blog

Acupuncture is not a new alternative medicine strategy but, for many people, how it works remains a mystery.

If you are interested in booking an acupuncture treatment, you may be curious as to what to expect. Will it hurt? How does it work? What should I do to prepare for my appointment?

At Red Leaf Wellness, we welcome new patients and are dedicated to providing whole health and functional medicine strategies to help individuals restore balance to their bodies and achieve their health goals.

So if you’re wondering what to expect during your first acupuncture treatment, keep reading to learn more:

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient method of medicine that originated in China thousands of years ago. Recent scientific studies reinforce what we already know – that acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of health and wellness concerns, including pain, nausea, dizziness, chronic conditions, and more.

Acupuncture works in conjunction with the body’s energy which is called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”).  Treatments typically involve the use of very fine, sterile, and single-use needles that are placed in specific locations around the body to manipulate Qi. There are acupuncture points all over the body, including the face and scalp.

Preparing For Your Acupuncture Treatment

In order to get the most out of your acupuncture treatment, it is important to properly prepare yourself before your appointment.

The first thing you should do is make a list of your current medications and supplements. There are certain drugs, such as blood-thinning medications and MAOIs (anti-depressants) that can have negative interactions with certain acupuncture treatments (such as those that involve the use of herbs).

When you book your acupuncture appointment, be sure that you are scheduling your treatment with plenty of time before and after your session to relax. You don’t want to receive acupuncture treatment while you are feeling rushed or stressed.

On the day of the appointment, be sure to eat a light meal at least two hours before treatment. Receiving acupuncture on an empty stomach could lead to light-headedness during the session. Likewise, don’t eat anything too heavy to avoid discomfort during your appointment.

Be sure that you also avoid consuming caffeine at least two hours before your treatment. Caffeine will stimulate your nervous system and make it harder for you to relax during your acupuncture session.

Lastly, wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes. This will help the acupuncturist make sure that they are inserting the needles in the right places.

Also, be prepared to remove certain articles of clothing to allow the acupuncturist better access. They will provide you with blankets to ensure privacy and comfort.

Before Your Acupuncture Treatment: Initial Consultation

Before your acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist will do an initial consultation to assess your overall health.

Each acupuncture treatment is unique to the individual receiving it, so your acupuncturist will want to ensure that you are receiving the most effective treatment.

The acupuncturist will ask you questions in regards to your current symptoms, medical history, and any treatments you have received in the past. They may also inquire about your diet, digestive system, sleep habits, and emotional health.

And don’t be surprised if your acupuncturist asks to look at your tongue! They will assess its color, structure, and coating.

The acupuncturist may also take your pulse to determine how your energies are flowing through your body as well as observe your emotions in order to develop a treatment to help in harmonizing your overall Qi.

After this initial consultation, specific acupuncture points will be chosen and the acupuncturist will begin the treatment.

The Acupuncture Treatment: What to Expect

The actual acupuncture treatment is simple and straightforward. You will be asked to lie down or sit on a table and the acupuncturist will place needles into various points on your body.

These various points are known as “meridians” and these are the energy channels in your body. The development of acupuncture over thousands of years has discovered complex systems of meridians in the body.

When the acupuncturist puts needs into those meridians, they are helping regulate your body and return to a state of balance and wellness.

Acupuncture sessions typically last 45-90 minutes but the length of the treatment depends on your individualized treatment. 

After Your Acupuncture Treatment

Following your acupuncture session, you will be encouraged to drink extra water and relax. You may find yourself feeling calm and rested after the treatment – although some people feel more energized!

It’s possible that you may feel sensitive in certain areas or notice slight bruising where the needle was inserted. However, you should feel no pain whatsoever – during the treatment and after.

If you do notice any itching sensations, you can apply light pressure or ice for a few minutes following the treatment. 

Should you experience any pain, large bruises, or swelling, tell your acupuncturist immediately. They can then adjust the needles or choose other insertion points to maximize your treatment and minimize your discomfort.

The Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment can help address a range of conditions and discomforts, both physical and mental.

It has been shown to reduce stress by calming the nervous system as well as providing energy – and these benefits last long after the treatment is complete!

Acupuncture can also help address sleep issues, boost the immune system, relieve migraines and tension headaches, and improve your overall sense of self-awareness by helping you discover and recognize the connections between your body and mind.

Acupuncture Services in Edmonton

Red Leaf Wellness is a multi-disciplinary clinic located in Edmonton, Alberta, that offers services that emphasize whole integrative health for better wellness and healing.

One such service we offer is acupuncture and our team of acupuncturists are dedicated to providing you with a full-rounded approach for better results!

For thousands of years, acupuncture has been used for evaluating, diagnosing, and effectively treating a wide variety of health conditions.

If you’re ready to get started, schedule your appointment today or contact us to find out more about our exclusive acupuncture packages.