Let’s face it, if you’ve never had acupuncture before, it can feel like uncharted territory. Not only are needles involved, but it may be hard to imagine what actually happens during an acupuncture treatment. In order to take a little mystery out of acupuncture, here’s a rundown of what happens when you come to BodaHealth for an acupuncture session.
When you first arrive, you’ll be brought into a treatment room, where your practitioner will talk with you about your health issues. We’ll take a full health history and ask you about your current symptoms. Sometimes the questions we ask may seem unrelated to what brought you in. We ask all these questions in order to arrive at a diagnosis and understand the underlying source of your problem, which, in Chinese medicine, is described as a pattern of imbalance. A thorough understanding of your health helps your acupuncturist choose a point prescription and treatment plan best suited to your specific needs.
You will then lay comfortably on a treatment table while your acupuncturist inserts the needles. You may be asked to lay face down or face up, depending on the points your practitioner chooses. You may wear loose and comfortable clothing to your appointment. This allows your acupuncturist to easily access the commonly treated areas of your body while remaining as fully clothed as your treatment permits. However, we have lots of blankets so if you’re in your work clothes that’s no problem!
While some people are hesitant to try acupuncture because it involves needles, it’s important to know that the needles are extremely fine—much finer than the ones that are typically used in your doctor’s office. You may not feel anything at some points, or you may experience a sensation of heaviness, distension, tingling, or even a sensation of movement.
Once your acupuncturist has placed the needles, you’ll rest on the treatment table while the needles do their work. Most patients look forward to this time because it’s a quiet and relaxing break from the outside world. After 20 minutes or so, your acupuncturist will come back in and remove the needles. Sometimes other healing methods may be used to enhance your treatment. These may include electric stimulation (in the form of gentle microcurrent or tens), cupping, heat therapy, Gua Sha, or Tui Na. Once the needles are removed and any accessory treatments are complete, you’re free to go. As a bonus, you may feel calm and relaxed for several hours after your treatment.
At BodaHealth in Vancouver, we have several acupuncture practitioners on our staff. Acupuncture is a safe, natural, and effective therapy for a wide variety of health conditions. In fact, we often treat patients with problems that have failed to respond to other treatments. Our acupuncturists are well-trained and committed to helping people find relief and improve their health. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you, contact us today.
Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Registered Acupuncturist in Vancouver. She is also a Registered Herbologist and the founder of BodaHealth.