What is Acupuncture?

The insertion of ultra-thin needles in specific points along lines (meridians or channels) of energy that run throughout the body. The needles are stainless steel and as thin as a hair on your head. Each needle is used only once. The skin is sterilized with alcohol just prior to insertion. Patients usually report no pain during treatment. However, on rare occasions, a slight pinching sensation may be felt upon insertion of a needle. Once the needles are in, you get to relax for 30 or more minutes.

Western research shows that acupuncture:

 — Increases circulation

 — Increases white blood cell count (the immune system)

 — Releases endorphins (feelings of well-being)

 — Reduces stress

By doing those things, acupuncture gives the body the energy medicine it needs to heal itself from many ailments.

Most people notice changes after their first visit. I always ask for patients to have at least six visits before they decide if acupuncture is helping. It takes time for the body to heal itself, especially if it hasn’t been getting enough rest or exercise or nutritional foods. By the way, those are all things we discuss during your first visit and subsequent visits. It’s my desire to help you learn how to boost your body’s healing abilities, so you feel better and stay that way.

So, please stop wondering if you should try acupuncture. Just do it!

Call (562) 594-6800 to book an appointment with Amy

What Happens During Your First Acupuncture Visit?

So many people say they’re afraid of needles, or they don’t understand acupuncture. Experience has taught me that the fear and hesitance is really more about the mystery of what happens during your first acupuncture visit. What is it? What is the acupuncturist going to do to me? How big are the needles? What do I do while I’m there? Those are just a few of the thoughts that run through your mind before your first acupuncture treatment.

I don’t want anyone to miss out on the healing benefits of acupuncture simply because they have unanswered questions. So, here is a step-by-step of what happens during your first acupuncture treatment:

1. Walk into where you’re greeted by a friendly person at the front desk.

2. Sign in at the front desk.

3. Usually, when you call to schedule your appointment, you’re given directions on how to download and fill out the paperwork for your first visit. If you have it, you can give it to that friendly front desk person. If not, she’ll give you some papers to fill out for me. The New Patient Questionnaire gives me an idea of your overall health history and your current level of health. It also lets me know why you’re coming to see me.

4. Once the paperwork is finished and signed, it’s handed over to me for review.

5. You’re escorted to a treatment room with a comfortable chair and some relaxing music. You get to breathe and relax knowing that all you get to do for the next few minutes is talk about yourself and learn about how acupuncture can help you.

6. I review the paperwork before joining you in the treatment room. Together, we walk through the paperwork you filled out. I ask questions to help me learn more about how you’re currently feeling, what you’re here to work on, and determine a diagnosis from a Chinese medicine perspective.

7. This is also where you have time to ask me questions. I can tell you about acupuncture and my perspective on how it works. More specifically, I come up with a Chinese medicine diagnosis and tell you how acupuncture is going to help with your specific condition.

8. I offer my diagnosis and create a treatment plan. Once we agree you’re ready for your first treatment, the really fun part happens!

9. Acupuncture! I use very fine needles; as thin as a hair on your head. I insert the needles in specific points along the channels of energy that run through your body. Most people report very little sensation upon insertion. If anything, they feel something like a small pinch or some pressure. It goes away quickly. I distract them with “witty” conversation anyway, so most of my patients are surprised once I’m done. Then, you rest. It’s that easy. You get to lay on a cozy massage table for at least 30 minutes listening to relaxing music. Some people fall asleep. Some people just doze in and out. Some people lay awake thinking the whole time. No matter which experience is yours, the needles do their job of helping to open channels of energy to help boost your circulation and ignite your body’s innate healing abilities.

10. After 30 minutes, I remove the needles, and you’re on your way. The entire first visit takes about an hour and a half. Most people report feeling extremely relaxed and ready to go home and nap. Others feel more focused and ready to get to work. The only way to know which experience you’ll have is to come in and get an acupuncture treatment.