We find that most people have questions before starting acupuncture with us (even if they’ve have had acupuncture before). We have put together some of most common questions we get. Please read through these and let us know if you have any questions that aren’t answered here.
Click the link below if you would like to print these out.
We are excited to start working together!
Brian and Mary Beth
What do I wear for my appointment?
Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Generally patients remove their clothing prior to the treatment, and get under the drapes we provide. Some people prefer to undress completely; others keep their underwear on. It’s up to you how you’d like to proceed. Regardless, you will always be adequately draped so that your privacy is respected and you feel comfortable.
What do I (the patient) do during a treatment?
Your participation in the treatment can range from simply relaxing and enjoying the treatment to actively getting involved in the process. Because acupuncture is an invitation to live a healthier life, you can take that invitation as far you like.
In this context, taking up the invitation involves paying attention to what you feel during your acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can bring your attention to a particular area of your body that needs help, and the sensation you feel there can tell you what that part needs.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Pain from an acupuncture needle is nothing like other kinds of pain you may think of and want to avoid– stubbing your toe, burning your hand, dry-heaving, or breaking a bone. If there is pain with acupuncture, it usually subsides either instantaneously, or it very quickly morphs into something else.
That something else is highly personal. People report different sensations – heaviness, tingles, a kind of hum or buzz, warmth, coolness, a flowing feeling, or nothing at all. These are the sensations you feel as your body responds and begins healing. We are interested in hearing what you feel during a treatment. This is gives us information about how your body is changing as a result of the acupuncture. In the course of your treatment, we will help you to learn what your various sensations mean and how they can help you know what your body needs.
How long do I need to lie still with the needles?
Firstly, you never have to be stock-still and rigid. Acupuncture should never keep you from relaxing. If you ever find that you can’t get comfortable or that a needle is hurting you, please do not hesitate to let us know. Please also let us know if you ever need to move an arm or leg, turn your body, or get up.
The length of time needles are retained depends upon the type of treatment, but an average answer is about 20 minutes. For certain types of muscular injuries, pain, and sleep problems, we might do a treatment in which we’re in the room with you for almost the whole hour, putting in needles and taking them out – leaving you to rest for 10 minutes or so with a few needles that are retained.
For some types of issues, such as menstrual problems, infertility, prostatitis or certain mood disorders, the needles may stay in for 40 minutes from the time of the first insertion. We’ll make sure you’re in a comfortable, rested position before we leave the room.
What should I expect after the treatment?
Typically people experience some sort of change and/or improvement by the third or fourth treatment in a series. Sometimes it’s a straightforward alleviation of symptoms. Other times, it’s a change of symptoms. For example, if a patient comes for knee pain, she may notice that her knee has improved after one treatment, but that her ankle now hurts. Or maybe her knee is improved, and now she has the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
Typically, either scenario is good news. Healing can be like peeling back the layers of pathology and working backward through the progression of a disorder. In the ankle example, the patient’s knee pain may have started with an ankle strain (that she might have forgotten) that in turn strained her knee with every step. Once her knee was no longer compensating, she noticed that her ankle needs attention.
In the case of the upper respiratory symptoms, her knee pain may have begun as achy joints from the flu. The flu may have been forgotten, but its residue still needed to be resolved. Subsequent treatments generally encourage the process and resolve the issue.
What can I do between acupuncture sessions to enhance my treatment?
The best way to enhance and maintain the effects of acupuncture is to notice how you feel different following a treatment. This helps you to see where you are healing, what contributes to your healing, and what makes you feel sick.
How much does an acupuncture session cost?