Acupuncture - Your First Treatment
Your first acupuncture treatment
During the initial acupuncture consultation your practitioner will take a complete medical history so as to understand your unique physiological state. You will also be asked about your current symptoms, digestive system, diet, sleeping patterns, emotional state and lifestyle. Your practitioner will feel your pulse on both wrists, have a look at your tongue, and may palpate areas of pain, if relevant.
Following a diagnosis your practitioner will put together your unique treatment plan, which will include a recommendation for the number of treatments required, the frequency of treatments, and may also include advice on your diet and lifestyle. Your practitioner will stimulate various acupuncture points with ultra-fine sterilised single use needles. The number of needles and the area being needled may vary from treatment to treatment, and may not be in the area where you experience pain or discomfort.
In addition to needling, your practitioner may also use the following techniques:
- Electro-acupuncture — whereby a very small electrical current is applied to the needle. This is similar to a TENS machine and can be very effective in the relief of pain and stagnation
- Cupping — whereby a flame is used to create a vacuum inside a glass cup, which is then applied to the skin. This is used to improve circulation and promote local healing
- Guasha — vigorous rubbing of the skin with a smooth tool to stimulate blood flow
- Heat Lamp — application of indirect heat to warm and relax areas of the body
- Moxa (where permitted) — the burning of a herb on or around a needle to warm and invigorate the area
Your first acupuncture treatment - Image © Gerardo Calia
The follow up session will be shorter than the initial session, with a brief consultation to review your symptoms before moving on to the treatment. Acupuncture is accumulative so it is common for a number of sessions to be recommended in order for you to feel the sustained benefit of the treatment.