How to Prepare for Your First Acupuncture Treatment

Written by: Dr. Tony Willcox, D.O.M., A.P | Sep 10, 2013

How to Prepare for Your First Acupuncture Treatment

If you’re nervous about how to prepare for your first acupuncture treatment, you’re not alone. Chances are that you’re apprehensive about the needles or are simply nervous because you don’t know what to expect. As medical research continues to be published about the health benefits of acupuncture, more patients are being referred for treatment – resulting in more people worrying about what acupuncture entails.

Don’t worry: the first step to preparing for your acupuncture treatment is to familiarize yourself with what you should expect. Just like any other medical visit, you will be treated with respect, privacy, and courtesy. In fact, many patients find acupuncture treatments to be more relaxing than a typical doctor’s visit, as the sounds, ambiance and stimulation of the endorphin release from the acupuncture therapy creates a very relaxing, pleasant and uplifting experience.

You’ll always want to schedule and plan to arrive a few minutes early to your appointment. This will allow you the time to not only relax, but also fill out the appropriate paperwork regarding your medical history. Be sure to bring a list of medications you are currently taking and any relevant medical files related to your treatment. Most treatments last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, though it can vary depending on the area and symptoms being treated.

If you’re afraid of needles, don’t worry. Your in good hands! Dr. Tony Willcox received the Academic Excellence award for his studies in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with a National double Board Certification in both Acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine. He has also trained in Shanghai, China and is currently completing his PhD. in Acupuncture. His refined technique is both effective and painless. Most patients feel nothing on insertion of the tiny acupuncture needle. Others at certain points feel similar to a mosquito bite. Can you tolerate a mosquito bite to improve your health condition? Relax as much as possible whilst you are receiving treatment. This is a great opportunity to align with the restoration of health and deep relaxation. The needles used in acupuncture are hair-thin and don’t resemble the traditional needle you envision when you think about the doctor’s office. In fact, because acupuncture provides as many psychological benefits as it does physiological ones, it’s important to relax as much as possible. This will allow you to experience the holistic health benefits that acupuncture has to offer.

Because your treatment can take some time, be sure to eat something an hour or two before arriving. Furthermore, since acupuncture encourages your body to release natural hormones and chemicals into its system, try to avoid taking caffeine or pain medication directly prior to your visit. You want your body to be as relaxed and in a natural state as you experience acupuncture treatment.

If you’re uncomfortable with removing garments, be sure to wear something loose fitting so that the treatment can be more easily applied. It is typical, however, to be asked to disrobe around the area we will treat. Rest assured that your privacy and comfort are of the utmost importance, so don’t be caught off guard when this occurs during your treatment.

During your session, simply try your best to relax and enjoy all the benefits that acupuncture has to offer!