Acupuncture has been a practice in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. People have been using it for various physical and mental ailments, but because it’s part of “alternative” medicine, many people find it scary.

If you’ve been considering making an acupuncture appointment, it’s normal to be scared. We’re here to help put your mind at ease, so you’re ready and relaxed when your appointment date arrives.

Read on to learn all about what to expect from your first acupuncture appointment.

Before Your Acupuncture Appointment

When you’re getting ready for your appointment, feeling a bit nervous is normal. After all, this is something new to you! Instead of fighting your anxiety, accept it as an emotion and let it pass through you.

Make sure that you have something to eat and drink before your appointment. You want to be ready! If your body doesn’t have enough energy, it may lead to lightheadedness during the appointment itself.

You won’t have to disrobe during the appointment, but make sure you’re wearing something comfortable and that the acupuncturists will have enough access to your body to place the needles.

The Initial Questions and Exam

Like traditional medical appointments, acupuncture appointments will start with an exam. Some questions will be standard medical questions about your health history and current systems. Others are unique to Eastern medicine.

The acupuncturist may ask about things that seem irrelevant to your primary concern but trust them. You may be asked to answer questions about your sleep habits, sex life, digestion, and more. Be honest about what is going on so your acupuncturist is aware of what you are dealing with.

They may also ask you to stick out your tongue. This is normal. Trust the process.

When the exam is over, your acupuncturist will advise you on how many appointments they think you’ll need and what those appointments will look like.

The Actual Acupuncture Process

The acupuncturist will have you sit or lie down and relax. They’ll swap you with alcohol to clean your skin before placing needles in specific acupoints.

If you feel uncomfortable at any time, feel free to tell the acupuncturist. The acupuncturist will be quick with their needle placements but also gentle, so you don’t feel as if you are getting stabbed. They can pause or modify their needle placement to ensure you are comfortable during the process.

The needles are very thin, far thinner than standard needles. You may feel them being placed, but it should not hurt. During typical sessions, acupuncturists will place between 5 and 20 needles, depending on your specific situation.

Wearing the Needles: Will It Hurt?

After the acupuncturist has placed the needles, they may manipulate them slightly by twirling or otherwise touching them. Some acupuncturists also use heat. All these things are meant to maximize the benefits of your acupuncture experience.

You will “wear” the needles for anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes. Many people are worried that this will be painful, but that isn’t the case. The needles are so thin that they won’t hurt while they’re in your skin. You might not even notice they are there after a few minutes. Regular breathing will help you to relax during this time and allow you to enjoy the process.

Removal should also be painless. Many people don’t even feel it.

At the end of the procedure, most people leave feeling energized, though it’s also not abnormal to feel tired. You may have minor redness or slight bruising around the acupoints, but that will disappear within a day or two.

Are You Ready for Your First Acupuncture Appointment?

Acupuncture is nothing to be afraid of. While the concept of sticking your body with needles may seem scary, the acupuncture benefits are more than worth it. Your acupuncture sessions can be used to address lower back pain, headaches, morning sickness, and more. Plus, it can be combined with other treatments to help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

So are you ready to make an appointment for your first acupuncture session?

At MK Integrative Wellness, we take an integrative approach to health and wellness. Contact us to make an appointment today.

MK Integrative Wellness offers various natural and herbal health medicine options that use naturopathic medicine principles, from consultations, acupuncture, customized herbal formulations, natural pain management, and more. Our team can proactively help you manage your health and wellness through natural medicine options.