Acupuncture and oriental medicine in general is something I always wanted to try. I gave it a chance some time ago and was disappointed by the experience, so I tried again this week, and I am here to tell you what you should expect from the first visit to an acupuncture clinic.
Facts and myths
- Acupuncture can help with many diseases and pains (back pains, menstrual pains, muscle pains, heart diseases, etc.), but not only the physical ones. The clinic where I am going is also using psychotherapy and mental acupuncture to treat anxiety, depression, extreme stress, insomnia, etc.
- Acupuncture needles are very thin and do not hurt. I am very scared of needles, and I usually faint at the hospital if I do not sit down on my back when they collect my blood for tests, so this was an aspect I was really worried about when I decided to try acupuncture. At some point I even completely forgot that I have needles inside of me.
- You will not be covered in needles. A typical acupuncture session uses between 6 and 20 needles.
- The acupuncturist will ask you lots of questions about your personal life, more like during a task with a psychologist. He must know you better to identify the best spots to put the needles in. Also, he might give you some tasks between sessions.
- Acupuncture sessions should be done once a week or once every two weeks, so the body has time to adjust to the new flow of emotions. Doing the treatment in 10 consecutive days might work for some chronic pain conditions, but if you want long term results, you should work a lot with yourself at the same time the acupuncture works with your energy lines.
- You might feel worse before feeling better. Your body is adjusting and must find a new balance, so in the first 24 hours after the session you might feel sleepy, lacking energy, grumpy, or even extremely tired. Some people feel more energized after the first visit, but if you are among those that feel worse first, you should not worry. It is a sign that the treatment is working. You will feel much better the next day.
- The experience you will have will depend a lot on the clinic. I went the first time to a small clinic near my house that offered a lot of services, including acupuncture. I could not relax at all. The needles were thick, and it hurt when they were inserted. I could hear all the conversations in the nearby lobby. The bed was uncomfortable. Now I did a lot of research before trying again, and I discovered the Shen Center of Oriental Medicine in Bucharest. They focus on the experience, they work with me more than on a physical, “let’s just put the needles inside” level. The needles are thinner, and it didn’t hurt at all. The rooms are soundproof, and the meditation music helped me relax. I lose more time in traffic, but I receive in return a better value.
How to prepare for the visit?
- Skip coffee that day or take a smaller dose.
- Wear comfortable, loose clothes, that allow you to uncover your whole hand and the legs up to the knees.
- Avoid physical exercises in that day and try to take thing easy. I usually do some relaxing yoga in the morning and afternoon.
- Be open and receptive. Acupuncture can be the solution where modern medicine failed to find one. But you must believe and give it a change. Just putting some needles inside you will have some positive effects but it will take much more time for it to work if you do not work with yourself at the same time.
I really enjoyed my second experience with acupuncture, and I will continue to go for treatment in the next period, because I want to evolve as a person and I want to escape from the stressful, full of anxiety period I am facing right now. Have you ever tried it before? How was your experience?