The outcome of the treatment is individual, and dependent on many factors, such as relaxation or stress, interaction with the practitioner, time of day and year, treatment and acupuncture points selection, and many more. You may feel a difference to your condition instantaneously, or it might take several days. You might also notice a difference in other symptoms – sleep, mood, energy, digestion etc., following the treatment.
How many sessions will be needed
This is very subjective. general advice would be – allow up to 5 sessions for your body to get used to acupuncture and evaluate how you feel afterwards with the practitioner. The more chronic your condition is, the more sessions might be needed to shift the symptoms.
What will I feel
Acupuncture is very different to needles you may have come across in hospitals – the insertion is mostly pain-free. however, needle insertion at certain areas of the body with increased amount of nerve endings might create a slight stinging or aching sensation. If you have needle-phobia, you may want to consult the acupuncturist about your options.
What will happen
On the first treatment it is important for the acupuncturist to assess your current state of health, as well as your general medical condition. The practitioner will go through a thorough questionnaire concerning your past medical history, and health state of all systems in the body. Some questions might seem out of place (for example if you only came for back pain), but that is because acupuncture is a holistic system of medicine – all of the symptoms are interrelated and two separate issues can be parts of one pattern, and therefore lead to more precise diagnosis. All the information you provide is strictly confidential and will be kept a secret between you and your practitioner.
The general diagnosis normally involves diagnosis from pulse, tongue, face, arms and legs. The practitioner might also need to look at certain other parts of the body (such as back or abdomen), especially if your symptom concerns musculo-skeletal problems, to complement the diagnosis. It is advised that for your appointment you wear loose, comfortable clothing, which can be rolled up if needed, otherwise you may be asked to remove that particular item of clothing.