What To Expect At Your First Acupuncture Appointment

Acupuncture is a remedy that has been around for centuries but has only recently gained more widespread acceptance by the standard medical community in the United States. Many patients have been relying on acupuncture for relief from pain, stiffness, and inflammation, and if you struggle with these symptoms, you may wish to schedule an acupuncture appointment too. Here's a look at what you can expect.

The appointment will take about 30 minutes.

At your first appointment, you may need to fill out some paperwork and answer questions about your health history, so it is a good idea to arrive a little early. Once you're laying down on the treatment table, you can expect the procedure to take about a half-hour. Some people have acupuncture on their lunch break or on the way home from work. You will be able to safely drive, operate machinery, exercise, and do just about anything else immediately after your session.

The vibe will be relaxing and quiet.

Having acupuncture is a very peaceful, relaxing experience. The treatment is most effective when your mind and muscles are relaxed, so your practitioner will typically dim the lights, play some relaxing music, and make sure the room is a comfortable temperature. The overall vibe is similar to that of a massage session.

The needles do not hurt.

The biggest concern people typically have before an acupuncture appointment is that having needles inserted into the skin will hurt. But actually, patients barely feel a thing when the needles are inserted. The needles used for acupuncture are really tiny, and only a fraction of the width of your average sewing needle. At most, you may feel a slight pinch — and actually, a lot of patients find this sensation relaxing, rather than painful. 

You'll feel immediate relief.

Most people immediately experience relief after an acupuncture appointment. If your pain is a level 7 before treatment, it might be a 2 or a 3 after treatment. Acupuncture will not cure the condition that causes your pain, but it will interfere with the nerve impulses that lead to pain so you do not experience that pain as profoundly. The effects typically last a week or two, after which you can have another acupuncture session.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect from an acupuncture session. If you have any lingering questions, give an acupuncture office a call and ask. They'll be happy to tell you what you need to know.