What is an acupuncture session like?

If this is your first time considering acupuncture, it is normal to have a lot of questions. Let me try and answer the most common ones you might have.  

During your initial appointment you will have a medical evaluation with the specialist. During this time, the usual health questions will be discussed to understand your chief complaints and medical history followed by a physical examination that includes vital signs. If there are any records or X rays to review, your doctor will also discuss these with you.

Once the necessary information for a safe treatment has been gathered and the consent process for medical treatment has been discussed, the staff will guide you to the treatment room.

This room is private and has a relaxing environment. You will have the option to choose or bring your own music but the volume cannot disturb other patient areas. There are several ways to administer acupuncture depending on the conditions to be treated and each patient’s presentation. There is the option to sit down on a sofa with your feet up when doing ear or feet acupuncture. This allows you to stay in communication during the treatment using your cell phone. When doing body acupuncture it is best to be laying down on your back or on your belly, again depending on each case. Rest assured, regardless of the position, we will provide a comfortable environment.

During the placement of the acupuncture devices (needles, laser, magnets, heat) your provider will attempt to elicit symptom relief at that point. This means, that during the treatment your provider needs to identify areas or soreness or tenderness. The next step is then to release the areas of discomfort with the treatment. When using needles, you will be surprised after most placements that you did not feel it, but there are points that are more sensitive than others. On rare occasion, the needle placement can be uncomfortable, especially in certain areas of the body (such as the toes) and we will warn you of such. This should only be a transient discomfort.

Once the acupuncture needles have been placed you will stay in the room for around 20-30 minutes for the treatment to take effect. It is normal to feel relaxed during this time and many patients end up falling sleep.

After this time elapses, the needles are removed. Most times, needles will be replaced in different points for a second session of 15-20 minutes in areas that were not reached on the original position. Therefore if you started on your back for the first half of the treatment, if a second placement is needed due to your condition, then we will ask you to change positions to your side or on your belly to reach the points that cannot be reached on the initial position.

Once the acupuncture treatment is done for the day, we will let you rest for a few minutes in the room and then you can step out to the lobby for the check-out process. We recommend that you drink plenty of water after acupuncture treatments.


Mar Reyes

Brand consultant. Surface pattern designer.