Acupuncture can be a wonderful addition to a treatment plan and is used for a variety of health concerns. As part of my practice, I most often use acupuncture for:
- Sleep and Insomnia
- Menstrual cycle complaints
- Fertility and in conjunction with assisted reproductive technology (IUI/IVF)
- Muscle tension, pain, or triggers points (Tight traps? Let's talk...)
- Headaches and TMJ pain
One of the most beneficial aspects of acupuncture is that for most people it is an incredibly relaxing and grounding treatment Most (if not all) of us can benefit from this on a regular basis.
Here’s 5 things you should know before your first acupuncture treatment:
- Comfy clothes are best (and no, you don't have to get naked)
Most acupuncture treatments can be done while fully clothed. Stretchy pants that can roll up to the knee are best, paired with a loose t-shirt or long sleeved shirt. If you're sporting high waisted skinny jeans or a pencil skirt, no worries. You can always change into a gown for more comfort.
- You put what, where?!
Your practitioner will insert ultra thin flexible needles into the skin and muscle tissue (NOT bones or nerves). Different needle lengths are used for different areas of the body. The number of needles can vary from 10 to 30 (and up to 100 with some traditional acupuncturists). Most treatments involve needle placement in all four limbs (feet, ankles, hands, wrists) as well as abdomen, head and/or scalp.
- It should be enjoyable, not painful.
Normal sensations include a dull ache, small pinch, or perhaps feeling heavy or ‘pinned’ to the table. Most often, people feel nothing at all while the needles are being inserted. You should not feel sharp pain or shooting sensations at any time. Some people feel very calm or grounded during treatments. Others may notice certain emotions coming to the surface. Each experience (and treatment) can be different depending on what you are trying to achieve.
- Be still
Needles should remain in place for at least 20 minutes. Do your best not to move during this time as this can cause bending of the needles (which can be uncomfortable).
- It's okay to fall asleep
Most people feel very calm and relaxed both during and after acupuncture treatments. Some feel tired, sleepy, or even spacey. All are normal. Planning for a treatment at the end of your work day is a great way to decompress and maximize the benefits of acupuncture.
Remember, each practitioner and treatment may be different. If you have questions or concerns, voice them with your practitioner before you begin. Still have questions? Post them below!