Your First Acupuncture Treatment
Before your first acupuncture session there are several things you should bear in mind:
many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is helpful to wear clothing that allows easy access to these areas and try not to go for treatment on an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal.
During your first visit a thorough understanding of your main complaint and your general health and lifestyle are gained. This involves asking questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, and your emotional wellbeing. Women are also asked about their menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth.
You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps your practitioner to form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle. Helen may also take your pulse on both wrists and may examine your tongue and feel for areas of muscular tension or pain.
Your main health complaint
When talking about your main complaint, the practitioner might ask you to describe in your own words what the symptoms feel like and how severe they are. You may also be asked how long you have been having the symptoms, whether they are constant or intermittent and how frequent they are. You should mention any medication that you are taking and whether you have tried any other therapies.
Based on all the information you have given, you will be advised on your treatment plan, which may include lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture. The needles used are very fine, single-use, pre-sterilised needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body other techniques may be incorporated in to your treatment such as cupping or the use of a TDP heat lamp. Because meridians range across the whole body, the points used are not necessarily close to where you experience pain or discomfort. For example, if you suffer from headaches needles might be inserted in your foot or hand.
Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment.
You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment.
Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Cupping can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.