What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
You may be unfamiliar with what exactly takes place in an acupuncture session. Wondering what happens during treatment, how many visits may be needed and whether health insurance covers it are all common concerns. In a typical first visit, we will take a detailed health history, fully discus your main condition and give you and acupuncture treatment. This can take up to an hour and a half to create an individualised treatment plan that takes into account your present physical, emotional, and nutritional condition, while focusing on your main health concern. During your session we may recommend changes to your diet, exercise and relaxation practices. You may also be recommended specific nutritional supplementation, depending on your condition. These recommendations are designed to reinforce the effects of the acupuncture treatment in a natural way without side-effects. By strengthening the effects of the treatment the results can often be longer-lasting, and obtained in a shorter amount of time.
If you are wondering if acupuncture can help you with a different or specific condition, you can call our clinic to speak with one of us about it.
How does it work?
Currently, there are a number of theories as to how exactly acupuncture works. It was once thought that inserting needles into specific parts of the body affected nerves and could inhibit their signal transmission. This was thought to explain why acupuncture could treat pain so well. But when doctors mapped the acupuncture points over the known nerve network they found that there was some correlation, but not nearly enough to explain most of its effects. Another theory stated that acupuncture stimulates the release of opioids and endorphins in the central nervous system. Although this could explain certain analgesic effects, it could not explain many others. The most current theory speculates that acupuncture points are actually strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals throughout the body. Stimulating points along these pathways influences neurotransmitter rates and resets the polarity of different parts of the body. This latest theory is by far the most comprehensive and most promising explanation for why acupuncture works in Western medical terminology.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture in general is not painful. The needles are extremely thin (about the width of 2 human hairs), solid, disposable and flexible. Sensations that you will normally experience are a dull ache or tingling which is associated with the movement of energy stimulated by the insertion of the needles. This is a desired affect and should not feel painful.
How many visits will I need?
How many visits you will need will depend upon a number of different factors. The longer you have had the condition the more treatment you will generally need. If you have an acute condition, like a cold or flu you will generally only need one or two sessions. If you have a condition that you have had for a short period of time you may require 3 or 4 treatments before your symptoms are reduced. Chronic conditions, that you have had for many years may take anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments until you notice significant changes.
At your first visit, we will take a detailed health history and will determine an appropriate treatment plan based on your signs and symptoms and your diagnosis.