Frequently asked questions and common concerns led to a small blurb about the reality of acupuncture.
The most common questions around the needles that I get:
- Do you reuse the needles?
- No, they are sterile packed and after treatment disposed of in a sharps container.
- Does it hurt?
- For the most part no. There are some points that are more sensitive than others, but generally we can get the needles in without you feeling almost anything. The most frequent reaction to a first time needle insertion is, "That's it? I didn't even feel it". Sometimes we get: "You put a needle in?"
- There are some point locations that are tender. Those can feel like small pressure or light pulsation. If anything is uncomfortable you let the practitioner know so that we can make adjustments. We don't want you to be uncomfortable during a treatment.
- Why do some of the needles look different?
- There are different colors indicating length and diameter of a needle. There are also different types of needle handles and packaging that each practitioner gets used to. We like to find needles we are comfortable with, and more importantly that you are comfortable with.
- What's in the needles?
- Nothing. Acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow, and constructed hair thin.
The most common questions around treatment I get:
- What should I expect?
- Expectations need to be addressed and adjusted accordingly for each individual. (If you haven't slept for 10 years, your insomnia may not go away on the first treatment.) The first treatment is new for you, so you may not be able to sink in like the guy/gal that comes out looking like they just woke up. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to get the feel of and relax into acupuncture.
- Treatments are subtle. Most people get very relaxed, some of them snore (which is considered a complement). A variety of discomforts may naturally ease. I have patients that say it's important to look for what is no longer there. Are you sleeping better? Is your energy better? How's your mood? Has your pain subsided or lessened, knowing that it may not be 100%.
- Expect to feel relaxed after. You can do what you normally choose to in moderation.
- How often do I need to come in?
- Expect to make a commitment of at least 5-6 visits. While one hit wonders are amazing, and we love them too, the reality is that it may take at least a few visits to balance out. (It's like going to the gym, you do not go just once and say you are in shape again.)
- Expect to come in seasonally or when stress kicks up in your life to maintain results. Seasonal maintenance and "tune ups" are important.
I hope this helps with the basics. I'm happy to answer more as they arise, but these seem to be the most common. Everyone has a different reason for trying acupuncture. Some have tried everything else and it is a last resort. Some are just looking for a unique experience. Whether it is just relaxation, or assistance with a health issue, you should be comfortable in your clinic.