What to Expect During Your First Acupuncture Appointment

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Acupuncture is an ancient healing art that is designed to help the body recover from injuries and illnesses. Modern evidence has found that it can be useful in helping people manage chronic pain and heal. However, given that many people don’t know what to expect, it is worth reviewing what will happen at your first acupuncture appointment.

6 Steps of your First Acupuncture Appointment

  1. Like any medical appointment, you will likely have to fill out some paperwork. 
    This paperwork will likely detail any prior experience with acupuncture, medical conditions, and other problems you may have. You will also likely have to sign legal and consent forms.
  2. From there, you will likely have an extended conversation with either your acupuncture practitioner or someone else in the office. 
    You will review the information on your intake forms and then have an opportunity to ask any questions about acupuncture. Don’t worry if you don’t have any, but a good practitioner will ask you questions and make sure you are as comfortable with the experience as possible. At this point, your practitioner will likely show you the needles that are being used and make sure you understand that only sterile equipment will be utilized.
  3. Once those are done, the actual session will begin. 
    You may be asked to remove articles of clothing, including your shoes, socks, and shirt. Of course, you can say no to any of these requests, but understand that this may limit your treatment options, as acupuncture cannot be given through the clothing. However, you may be offered a medical gown in order to protect your privacy.
  4. The areas that will be needled will be cleaned or swabbed with alcohol.
  5. From there, your practitioner will gently insert the needles.The acupuncturist will make sure to check with you and make sure that you are comfortable with the treatment as it is proceeding. Depending on the practitioner and your issue, the needles will be left in for a set period of time.
  6. At the conclusion of the session, the needles will be removed.The practitioner will ask how you are feeling and will make recommendations for what you should or shouldn’t do over the next few days. They will also likely schedule a follow-up appointment.

Your first acupuncture appointment can potentially intimidating. That’s why it is important that you understand what it will involve and that you come prepared. Don’t worry – despite what it may sound like, acupuncture can be a fantastic experience, one capable of helping you feel better and alleviating a lot of problems that you suffer from. Schedule your acupuncture appointment today or give us a call at (415) 521-3073 if you have any questions about your first acupuncture appointment!


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