What to Expect From Your First Acupuncture Appointment
When you attend an appointment at a new clinic, it can be hard to know what to expect from your first acupuncture appointment. And if you have never experienced an acupuncture appointment before, attending your first may be a little daunting!
At Bowen Hills Acupuncture, we understand your worries, and are here to help! In this article, we will take you through what you can expect during your initial acupuncture appointment. Our aim is to ensure that you feel well-informed and at ease throughout the entire process.
What should I expect during an initial acupuncture appointment?
Your first acupuncture appointment will begin with making sure we know your health concern and how it affects you, and what you want your treatment to achieve. This way we pinpoint the main area of focus for your treatments, while making sure we are on the same page when it comes to the end goal of your treatment plan.
Then, we will discuss your problem in more detail. We will ask questions including the history of the issue, its onset, how long it has affected you and what activities exacerbate the issue. We will likely also conduct some physical assessments and diagnostic tests. These tests look at things like range of motion, and help to discover the exact cause of the problem and how much it impedes your day to day life.
After discussing the current state of your health, we will recommend a treatment for you and a preliminary treatment plan. We may for example suggest that a combination of acupuncture cupping therapy and remedial massage might be the best fit for you.
From here, you can then head onto the treatment table to start your initial treatment. In musculoskeletal issues, our therapists may get you to change positions multiple times to treat different areas of the body, and can also involve stretches where necessary to make sure your body is responding nicely to the treatment, as well as to determine how effective treatment has been, and to check your progress.
Depending on the results achieved in the first treatment, we may adjust the recommended treatment plan including the recommended number of sessions.
A quick summary of your first acupuncture appointment:
Discussion of the health concern and treatment goals
Some physical assessments and diagnostic tests
Discuss your ongoing treatment plan
Does acupuncture hurt?
One of the biggest questions we get about our patients' first acupuncture appointment is whether or not acupuncture hurts. It is an understandable question, especially if you are usually afraid of needles. We can safely say that acupuncture is different from what you know from blood taking and vaccinations and that most of the time, acupuncture needles provide a pain free experience.
Acupuncture needles are actually incredibly thin - far thinner than the hypodermic needles used for a blood test! Acupuncture needles are very fine, allowing a smooth and comfortable insertion. The needles we use are only 0.20 - 0.30mm in diameter.
As they are so small, they will often be inserted without being felt at all. Sometimes you will feel a pulling sensation, a pressure or a pleasantly tingling effect which is indeed desired. Also, when we are trying to release a muscle, we may stimulate the needle. Sometimes, this may cause a pulling or twitching sensation as the muscle responds. There could also be some initial discomfort when a needle is placed in a particularly sensitive - or strained - area. For example, feeling a strong twitch after the needle has been placed as it means that there is a good response by the muscle and tension is being released. It is also good to keep in mind that certain areas of the body are more sensitive than others - and this sensitivity can vary from person to person.
It’s important to make sure that you are talking to your acupuncturist if you do feel any discomfort - that way you can be reassured if the discomfort is expected and will soon pass.
A quick summary of whether acupuncture hurts:
Usually, the most you will feel is a slight discomfort!
This feeling may happen because a muscle is being released or if an area is sensitive
Acupuncture needles are far thinner than those used for blood tests or vaccinations - so the feeling is very different!
Make sure to let your acupuncturist know if you are feeling discomfort
What should I do after an acupuncture appointment?
After your first acupuncture appointment, you ideally practice moderation and take care of yourself. While it's not necessary to drink excessive amounts of water, we recommend that you keep up your regular intake of water to stay properly hydrated. Hydration supports the body's overall well-being and can enhance the benefits of acupuncture therapy. It is also recommended to avoid overexertion and give yourself time to rest, allowing your body to fully embrace the relaxation provided by the treatment.
As active members of the powerlifting community at Fortitude Barbell, we see many Brisbane acupuncture patients looking to improve their physical performance and address aches or tightness from their workouts. Some of these find it beneficial to incorporate acupuncture or other remedial therapies into their regime’s ‘rest’ days. Others will schedule regular treatments straight after heavy training sessions to help improve recovery. This allows them to take advantage of the deep sense of relaxation they feel after acupuncture treatment.
Remember that each person's response to acupuncture may vary, and it is essential to listen to your body's signals. Some individuals may feel energised after a treatment and can resume their regular activities, while others may prefer to take it easy for the rest of the day. Pay attention to how you feel and honor your body's needs. By maintaining a balanced approach, staying adequately hydrated, and allowing yourself appropriate rest, you can maximise the relaxing benefits of Brisbane acupuncture therapy and support your overall well-being.
A quick summary of what to do after an acupuncture appointment:
Stay hydrated - but don’t feel like you need to go out of your way to drink more than your usual intake
Allow yourself some time to relax
Keep an eye out on what your body needs
Book Your First Acupuncture Appointment with Bowen Hills Acupuncture
For more information about what to expect from your first acupuncture appointment with Bowen Hills Acupuncture, visit the ‘Your First Visit’ page. There you’ll find instructions on how to find us, what you should wear to your appointment, and how to get in touch with us in case you do need to cancel your appointment.
With over 15 years of experience, Ken Haydock has extensive experience treating patients who are new to acupuncture therapy, and can help ease you into your treatment. If you’re looking for a Brisbane acupuncture clinic that takes care of you from your first appointment and beyond, get in touch with us! Use our online booking system to book your Brisbane acupuncture appointment, or give our office a call on 0434 411 654.