Usually not much at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin, about the width of two hairs. There are certain sensations associated with therapeutic effects of acupuncture. These may include heaviness, distention, tingling, slight cramping or electric, traveling sensation. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild and temporary. Most people are deeply relaxed and/or asleep once all points are placed.
This depends on what you want to be addressed, how long it’s been present and your general state of health. Typically, short-term (acute) problems will respond within just a few treatments, while longer-term (chronic) problems may take up to ten - twelve or more treatments before consistent, sustainable changes occur. After the initial visit a treatment plan can be put in place.
Likely not, but this also depends on the reason(s) you’re getting treated in the first place. Many people continue lifelong maintenance treatments because it enhances quality of life and helps give them optimal well-being.
Yes. Part of a Registered Acupuncturists training includes many hours of safety training and examinations. You do need to be aware that: Drowsiness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients Minor bleeding or bruising occurs after acupuncture in about 3% of treatments Pain during treatment occurs in about 1% of treatments Symptoms may get worse after treatment (less than 3% of patients). Lightheadedness may occur in new patients, due to hunger, extreme fatigue, or nervousness. In addition, if there are particular risks that apply in your case, your practitioner will discuss these with you.
Most often, you will not bleed when the needles are taken out. Occasionally we may see a drop of blood due to a tiny vessel unseen just under the skin surface. The bleeding is stopped quickly with light pressure and a cotton ball. This should not be a concern.
Apart from the usual medical details, it is important that you let your practitioner know: If you have ever experienced fainting or seizures If you have a pace maker or any other electrical implants If you have a bleeding disorder If you are taking anti-coagulants (blood thinners) or any other medication If you have a heart condition, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, hepatitis, or any other risk of infection If you are pregnant, suspect you may be pregnant, or are attempting to conceive. Single-use, sterile, disposable needles are used in the clinic.
On the first visit, your practitioner will take a detailed health history,check tongue and pulse, fully investigate your chief complaint and carry out an acupuncture treatment. This initial consult takes longer and allows preparation of an individualized treatment plan that takes into account your present physical, emotional and nutritional condition while focusing on your main health concern. It is also recommended that patients wear loose clothing for their own comfort.
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