Are you new to acupuncture? Here is a simple overview of what to expect.. get excited!
With summer ending and fall just around the corner, many of us look once again to organizing and optimizing our lives. This makes sense in Chinese medicine, as fall is associated with the metal element. The metal element is associated with organization and making choices based on value and purpose. This includes how to make changes to support our health and vitality.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can play a powerful role in that process. One of its unique features is that it can be used to strengthen and boost our overall health in addition to regulating the body and helping it to heal disease. So if you’re interested, but not yet familiar, with making an appointment for acupuncture, here are FAQs and tips on what to expect and how to get the most out of your acupuncture treatments
Q: How often should I get acupuncture?
This is a common question and expectations can vary. Some people think they’ll only need one treatment and be cured for life; people in China expect to go daily until they improve. Here, it tends to fall somewhere in between. Most patients come to acupuncture with chronic conditions and pain that has persisted for months or years. They come after seeking treatment with conventional medicine or other modalities like chiropractic and therefore we as acupuncturists are treating patients with long-standing health issues. We find that acupuncture is most effective when administered 2-3 times weekly for several weeks for most patients. After several weeks of consistent treatment, we re-evaluate progress and alleviation of symptoms and overall strength and improvement to determine continued acupuncture for prevention and maintenance.
Initially, 2-3 times per week; then preventive maintenance treatment every few weeks.
Q: What should I wear?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Make sure you can easily roll your sleeves up to your elbows and your pants up to your knees. If you can’t dress this way we have gowns and we’ll always make sure you’re draped appropriately and feel comfortable for treatment.
Q: Is it okay to eat before I come?
You should eat a light meal or snack before your appointments. Acupuncture works by manipulating energy. If you’re hungry you won’t have much energy. Over-eating before treatment is not a good idea.
Q: What should I do after my appointment?
Most importantly, try to rest and relax after your acupuncture appointment for maximum effect. Avoid exercise, alcohol and intercourse for up to 8 hours. If you are feeling much better after treatment you may be tempted to resume normal activities but it is better to give your body time to heal and integrate the changes caused by treatment.
Massage before or after acupuncture is perfectly fine and can even be enhanced by acupuncture and vice-versa. Some acupuncturists even include a small amount of Chinese medical massage – called tui na – into their treatments.
Q: What else should I know?
We can tell a lot about digestion and fluid dynamics by looking at your tongue.
Remember not to brush or scrape your tongue prior to when you come in for your first appointment. This way we can see what is going on inside.
Intention is key in achieving the best results. Prepare for acupuncture by being grateful for your body and relax into the treatment. Be clear in knowing what you want from your body.
Acupuncture is inherently relaxing. Be ready to allow that to happen.
If you have any additional questions, give us a call at the Acupuncture Center of New Jersey.
We look forward to meeting you and supporting your healing journey!