what to expect from acupuncture treatment

what to expect

I am a ‘trauma-informed’ acupuncturist, which means that I understand that our emotions, traumas (big and little), past illnesses and current and past life experiences all contribute to our health. Prior to your first appointment I’ll get you to complete a short health history form so I can get started on joining up the dots with your current symptoms and past experiences.

Then, during the first appointment I will ask lots of questions to make a complete diagnosis of your main complaint and to get an overall picture of your health. I will then take a look at your tongue and feel your pulses and carry out an examination of any external physical complaints.

Follow-up sessions will involve a discussion of your progress along with the appropriate treatment for that time.

How many treatments will you need

This is dependent on a number of factors. You will feel a difference after your first acupuncture treatment and after each treatment, but to see a permanent shift in your health you will need to complete a course of treatment.

As a general rule, for basic acute conditions you should see a significant improvement after 4-6 treatments.

For chronic and more complex cases you should see a significant improvement after 10-12 treatments.

For acute cases I see the best results when patients come in twice a week for the first 1-2 weeks, then weekly for the remainder of the treatment plan. For chronic conditions once a week works best.

After you have completed a course of treatment you will need to return for a follow-up monthly tune-up to prevent symptoms returning. Lots of people do this even though they feel generally well as they know that regular acupuncture keeps them well and prevents illness.

Remember some acupuncture is better than no acupuncture so even if you can’t come as often as you’d like still give it a go. However you may find that treatment is not effective or that your symptoms take a lot longer to improve if you do not come as often as outlined above.

What does it feel like

The needles used are extremely fine and treatment should not be painful. The needling sensation is often described as a dull ache, warmth or a tingling sensation. In general patients report feeling very relaxed during and after treatment.

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