Your First Treatment
Quick History of Acupuncture:
Developed in China over 2500 years ago, acupuncture is a complete system of holistic medicine. The body is viewed as a microcosm of the entire universe. Terms such as Yin, Yang, and Qi are applied to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from its original Daoist roots. Acupuncture is one of the modalities of TCM, and definitely it’s most popular. Globally, it has been medically recognized and touted as an effective means of treatment for disease.
So, what is it all about?
The Meridian System Theory is a collection of energetic networks that flow throughout the body. At specific points, the energy (Qi) is easily influenced by stimulation to perform certain functions that restore harmony. Pathology and pain are said to be caused by an imbalance in the flow of Qi. The overall, fundamental purpose of acupuncture and all TCM modalities is to acquire and maintain balance in the body, mind, spirit. One of the hallmark aspects of acupuncture is the use of needles. Called filiform, or thread-like, the needles used are medical grade for sterility and performance. Literally, one could tie the needle in a knot as they are hair thin. The needles are medically disposable, single-use, sterilized stainless steel. One must be a licensed medical professional to obtain these.
Thousands of hours of class work and clinic supervision plus passing of demanding medical board exams are what separate a Licensed Acupuncturist from an unqualified needler. There are some medical professions that are allowed to utilize acupuncture needles without the exacting education and comprehensive training that Licensed Acupuncturists receive.
What does it feel like?
For those new to acupuncture, the sensation or the arrival of Qi, known as De Qi, is quite foreign. If you have experienced forms of subtle energy movement disciplines, vibrational medicine, or meditation, you may have a framework for the feeling of Qi. The notable sensations of beneficial Qi movement may include a localized tingling or numbness, sensation of heaviness or aching at the site of needle insertion, a feeling of distention or pressure, warmth, soreness, even “ants crawling on the skin.” These are all indications that the Qi has been activated and the body’s natural healing response has been called upon. A licensed acupuncturist is trained in various techniques to perform painless needling and to manipulate the needle to augment the Qi response.
As acupuncture is a stand alone medical system based on universal holistic truths, we really get to know you. With that, expect to be asked thoroughly about your chief complaint (or the reason for your visit). Also, there may be questions about other dimensions of your life. Digestion, sleep, mood and more are all factors that relate to your chief complaint as we are whole organisms. The questions may seem unrelated but everything about you relates to every other thing about you.
A licensed acupuncturist has all manner of diagnostic measures in their toolbox to fully evaluate your constitution and condition. You may be asked to expose your tongue as if to say “Ahh.” You may have your pulse felt at the wrist. You may have your nails and ears examined. You may have your meridians palpated along your limbs or your abdomen massaged for tender points.
How to Get the Most of Your Visit
- Avoid brushing your tongue the day of your visit.
- Please continue brushing your teeth though
- Eat a light meal about 2 hours before the appointment
- Not a full belly and not ravenously hungry
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing
- Avoid tight fitting or bulky apparel
- Have an open mind
- Acupuncture is clinically documented and research validated to NOT be a placebo effect
- That said, much of acupuncture and TCM is new and novel to most
- Allow yourself to be treated
- The more we know about your condition the better prepared we are to treat you effectively, feel free to share
- If you feel the need to sleep, please do
- If you feel the need to cry, please do
- You will be in a safe space to experience your treatment in full
What to expect?
You’re there in a soothing sanctuary called a treatment room. Your friendly, highly skilled physician has just inquired about the reason for your visit, administered a diagnostic assessment, and is now ready to perform your first acupuncture treatment. You lie on the treatment table, a comfortable massage table. You rest maybe face up or face down, or side lying depending on your comfort and what is being treated. You are already wearing comfortable clothes, and the points needed for the treatment have been exposed. The first needle goes in, you may feel a little prick or nothing at all. Either way, painless. Once all the needles are inserted, you get to rest on the table. After about 20 minutes, the needles are removed. You may have fallen asleep. In fact, we encourage falling asleep during a treatment. A feeling of relaxation has come over you, but you feel surprisingly refreshed. The world may appear a bit different from when you first arrived. Something has shifted in you, maybe your pain has significantly diminished or is gone all together. You may get the best sleep you’ve had in years that night. You may have a bowel movement later in the day, literally clearing you of stagnant energy. You may feel a clarity of your mind, a bounce in your step, a big smile on your face. Congratulations!
Acupuncture is a safe and powerful form of medicine. Backed by millennia of empirical science and thousands of medical research studies across the globe, acupuncture has been lauded by medical professionals for its clinical relevance. Research has demonstrated that acupuncture is as effective as conventional medical interventions, and in many cases more effective. The truth is, acupuncture for many patients is an enjoyable and very pleasant experience. It is the highlight of the day, or even week, for a lot of folks.
Read about our caring and qualified physicians here. At Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness, we are your personal wellness team. Your optimal health is our goal! If you are located here in Lakewood Ranch, FL, nearby in Sarasota or Bradenton, visiting for the season or vacation, give our office a call today to schedule your first wellness appointment.