What should I do before and after my first acupuncture session?
Have a snack: Acupuncture moderates the activity of the nervous system, which can alter blood sugar and energy levels. It is important to have a small snack before your first session, as some people do feel faint from dropping blood sugar levels.
No Caffeine/ alcohol: Substances that can impact the activity of the nervous system should be avoided for 2 hours before and after acupuncture. These include both coffee and caffeinated beverages (stimulants) as well as alcohol (depressant). If you are currently taking pain medications, continue to take them as you normally would.
Rest: It is best to rest for at least a couple of hours after your session, so plan your long run or workout for another day!
How long is a session?
If you are coming in specifically for an initial acupuncture assessment and treatment, the session will take 45 minutes to one hour. If you are receiving acupuncture as part of your physiotherapy treatment and have already had an assessment, the session will take 30 minutes. Acupuncture needles are generally left in for 15 to 20 minutes.
When will I start to see results?
Results can vary depending on the individual and on the condition being treated. Some people notice results right after their first session, while others will not start to notice significant results until their third to sixth treatment. Generally, if no change is noticed by the sixth session, then acupuncture will not benefit the condition.
What does acupuncture treat?
The better question is “What doesn’t acupuncture treat?” Acupuncture can be used to treat most of the conditions that are commonly treated with physiotherapy. Various conditions such as jaw locking, sciatica, whiplash and osteoarthritis of the knee can all benefit from acupuncture. It is particularly effective at treating pain and inflammation.
Is acupuncture for acute or chronic conditions?
Acupuncture effectively treats both acute and chronic conditions. Results are noticed more quickly with acute conditions, and consequently will require less sessions.
What will it feel like? Will it hurt?
The acupuncture experience is a little bit different for everybody. Some people feel very little with acupuncture and others are more sensitive to the needles. For the most part, there can be a bit of an uncomfortable sensation which occurs when the acupuncture point is stimulated by the needle. People will often describe the sensation as a dull, achy or throbbing sensation, similar to a tired muscle. The sensation lasts for a few minutes after the needle is inserted and gradually lessens.