My First Acupuncture Visit
My First Acupuncture Visit
Steven Tan (Acupuncturist) gives expert video advice on: What medical conditions should I tell my acupuncturist before treatment?; What will I feel when the acupuncturist inserts the needles?; How should I behave in an acupuncture session? and more...
Where can I find a reputable acupuncturist?
The best way to go about searching for a good Acupuncturist is probably going to your states Board of Acupuncture of Medical Board. These are the boards that regulate the profession, and most of the time there'll be a website where you can look up various Acupuncturists and the status of their license, whether they've been probationed or disciplined in any way and whether their license is still in good standing. In addition to that, getting a good word of mouth referral is also a great idea.
What will my acupuncturist ask me during my first visit?
During your first visit with an acupuncturist, you're going to be evaluated in very similar fashion as to how you're evaluated when you see a regular doctor. They're going to start out by asking you questions about your health, about the particular symptom that you came to see them for, assess your overall medical profile, what medications you're taking, what other medical history is relevant to your case, whether you're allergic to medications and what your family history is. So the initial history intake is going to be very, very similar. One of the key features of acupuncturist diagnosis is to look at someone's tongue and pulse. This gives the acupuncturist an idea of where your body may be out of balance and that will drive the points that we acupuncturis ultimately chooses to treat you.
What medical conditions should I tell my acupuncturist before treatment?
You should tell your acupuncturist about your entire medical profile. Anything that you would reveal to your regular convential doctor, you want to reveal to your acupuncturist. This way they will have a full picture of what's going on with your health and if there is anything that they feel uncomfortable treating themselves, they can coordinate your care with your doctor.
Will I be seated or will I lie down for my treatment?
The position that you're in when you receive acupuncture treatment is not as relevant as the particular points that are being selected. So, for instance, if you have a difficult time in one position let this be known to your acupuncturist so that they can try to find a position that you're comfortable in that you can sit for a couple of minutes during the treatment session, but that will also allow them to needle the points that they need to get you better.
Why might my acupuncturist check my pulse or tongue?
The reason your acupuncturist would want to look at your tongue or pulse is that it gives them an idea of where your body is out of sorts or out of balance, and that in turn will guide their decision-making in terms of what herbs and what acupuncture points to pick for you.
Will I need to sign a consent form before my treatment?
Generally, prior to any medical procedure, acupuncture being a medical procedure, you should be generally consented by the person who is about to do that procedure. So, as a rule, I would say that prior to an acupuncture session, the acupuncturist should sit down with you and explain the risks and benefits and have you sign a consent form.
What will I feel when the acupuncturist inserts the needles?
When you get needled by an acupuncturist what you should expect to feel first is probably a tap. That tap signifies the acupuncturist is tapping the needle into your skin. So, there's going to be a brief moment where you feel just a split second of a static-y sensation. It will be very fleeting, very temporary. After that, the acupuncturist may decide to insert the needle a little deeper. The classical sensation that you should feel is not pain. It should be one of heaviness or pressure or a cramp-like sensation, is usually how most people describe it. If at all you feel sharp pain, burning or stinging or anything uncomfortable, make sure you run this by your acupuncturist just to be sure or verify that that is the sensation they are going for.