What can I expect at an acupuncture treatment

17th March 2018 | Guest | Complementary & Holistic Therapies

What can I expect at an acupuncture treatment

Guest Article : Jackie Graham : Jackie Graham Acupuncture

So you have taken the leap and booked your first acupuncture appointment.acupuncture 

Now you are wondering what to expect. Here are 6 things that are likely to happen with any acupuncturist you book with.

Thorough Consultation

Your first acupuncture treatment will involve the acupuncturist taking a full consultation covering your current symptoms, medical history, sleep pattern, appetite and digestion and emotional well-being. If you are a woman you will also be asked about your menstrual cycle, previous pregnancies and childbirth.

Holistic Treatment

Acupuncture is a holistic therapy, taking all aspects of the person into account. You may therefore be asked questions which appear to you to be unrelated to the matter in hand. Please don’t feel this is a waste of your time, relax and go with it. Your acupuncturist is trying to build a complete picture of your health and lifestyle.

Pulses and Tongues

Your acupuncturist will then ask to look at your tongue. This can give her information such as whether there is Cold, Damp or Heat in your body and which organs it is affecting. She will also take Chinese Medicine pulses; these are three pulses on each wrist relating to different organs. She may also feel for muscle pain and tightness.

Your Main Complaint

You will be asked to describe your main complaint in your own words. Your acupuncturist will want to know what your symptoms are, how severe they are, whether constant or intermittent, the frequency, whether the time of day affects them. She will also want to know what makes it worse or better.


Your acupuncturist will put all this information together to form a diagnosis and a treatment plan, which may also include diet and lifestyle changes. She will then use very fine pre-sterilised, single use needles to effect changes within the meridians in your body. Some points may not be near the point of pain, for instance if you come with recurring headaches do not be surprised to find that needles are being put in your foot.


Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment.

You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment. Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting.

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