What to Expect At Your First Acupuncture Treatment

At my physical therapist’s recommendation I had my first ever acupuncture treatment this week. When I arrived for my appointment I found that the practitioner's office was located in a physical therapy clinic. I was early and as I sat in the Wait Area I found these items on the table...


...Runners World magazine and AT&T Park.

I immediately felt like I was in the right place.

This initial appointment was scheduled for 90-minutes. The first 40-ish minutes were spent talking to the acupuncturist. She asked me why I was there, and we discussed my ailments and symptoms in great detail. She even took it a step further and asked questions about diet, sleep, emotional and mental well-being, etc.

I loved her "big picture" approach. It is gratifying to be treated by a health professional that takes the time to get to know me, and wants to understand my background and history.

It’s so much better than having a doctor tell me I should just find other hobbies and interests (i.e., my General Practitioner).

During the consultation I also learned that she works extensively with other athletes - dancers, ultra runners, etc and knew quite a bit about running. I felt even more comfortable and confident about being treated by her.

After the consultation she explained the treatment process, what I could expect to feel, etc.

Prior to the visit I had quizzed a few friends who had acupuncture treatments and they all assured me that it wouldn’t hurt and that ART and Graston were much more painful. They were right.

I laid on the table; face down with a pillow under my shins. She swabbed the areas where the needles were going with alcohol, then proceeded to place 16-18 needles in my hands, feet, mid-back, lower back, hips, and of course glutes. It barely felt like a pinch.

She covered me with a Mylar blanket (the kind you get at the Finish Line of a race) then had me lie there for 30-35 minutes. It was relaxing and I even dozed off for a bit. When time was up, she came in, removed the needles and we wrapped up the visit.

She said that everyone reacts differently to treatments and some people see results right away and others take a while.

It's been about 36 hours since my visit and I feel a little better, but not miraculously healed. I'm looking forward to the rest of the treatments (5 weekly visits is the recommended treatment plan for orthopedic symptoms). I've heard nothing but positive things about acupuncture treatment and am glad to have the first visit out of the way.

I had a lot of anxiety about what to expect. Just thinking about needles being stuck in your body is never a fun thought.

I hope this post will reassure anyone considering this treatment of how pain-free it is.

In other news...

I'm writing this post on "Omm Writer." It's a free writing software that I learned about here. Omm Writer blocks out all notifications on your computer when writing. It plays soothing music and has a peaceful interface. Its been a very "Zen" writing experience.

Also, if you are reading this post in an RSS feed, click on over to the actual site. I've spent a lot of time this week redesigning and coding it. It's so much fun and gratifying when I punch in some code and it actually works! I never thought I would get CSS and HTML talk, but it's all starting to come together!