What to expect in a treatment?
During your initial acupuncture treatment, a thorough intake is done during which past and present medical history, general health and current complaint are discussed.
Pulse and tongue diagnosis along with appropriate physical examination are also done prior to treatment. Once diagnosis and treatment protocol have been identified, sterile, one-time use needles are inserted into specific points along the related meridian pathway(s). Other modalities that may be part of your treatment are tui-na, cupping, moxibustion and/or auricular therapy.
The stainless steel needles used are the approximate width of a strand of hair. Many find little or no pain or blood associated with their acupuncture treatment. Most patients describe the sensation as a slight sting or prick that only lasts a moment. Retention of needles, although depending on the condition is usually 20 – 35 min. Your initial acupuncture treatment will be from 60 – 90 min, with follow up treatments lasting usually 45 min to an hour.
Dos and Don’ts on treatment day:
To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:
Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment; however make sure to have eaten something within 2 hours prior to your appointment.
Do not consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
Do not over-exercise, plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance.
Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment can interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic prescriptions. It is important that your acupuncturist and other healthcare providers know what modalities you seek, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.
Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is helpful so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem.
Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?
Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs, other companies do not yet recognize the value of acupuncture. Contact your extended health care provider or a representative in your Human Resource Department and they should be able to provide you the terms of your agreement.