NW Alternative

Healing Center

What should I know before getting acupuncture?

1. Acupuncture treats more than pain.

Acupuncturists find it unfortunate when patients cancel appointments because they are sick. According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture can help treat the common cold and stomach viruses and is also helpful for a wide variety of problems including mental and emotional stress, skin diseases, neurological disorders, infections, infertility, and gout, to name just a few.

2. Acupuncture needles are much thinner than hypodermic needles.
If the thought of needles turns you off, keep in mind that acupuncture needles are about the width of two or three strands of hair and are actually quite flexible. People are often surprised how little they feel the needles both at insertion and after they are in place. In fact, it is not uncommon for clinics to be full of completely relaxed and snoring patients!

3. Acupuncturists do not reuse needles.
If you receive acupunture treatment in the United States, the needles your acupuncturist uses will be new, disposable, and can never be used on another patient. This guarentees virtually zero risk of contracting a disease from receiving acupuncture. And because the needles are made of a very thin and flexible surgical grade stainless steel, there is less chance of feeling any pain.

How should I prepare for my first appointment?

Keep these tips in mind when preparing for your acupuncture appointment.

1. Bring a list of all current medications and any recent medical reports.

If you have had a medical evaluation or treatment related to the conditions you want us to address, please bring all lab reports or imaging results with you to your appointment (i.e. blood work, ultrasound reports, semen analysis, etc.). We will want to review those reports and incorporate the findings into our traditional Chinese medicine treatment plan.

2. Opt for loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.

It is also important to wear loose-fitting clothes on the day of your appointment. This will make it easier for the acupuncturist to place the needles in the right spots without any interference.

3. Eat an appropriate amount before your appointment.

Try to eat a light meal or snack approximately two hours prior to your treatment. However, keep in mind that you don’t want an upset stomach during or after your appointment due to heavy, greasy foods. Remember, acupuncture is a time to relax and heal.

What should I or shouldn’t I do after my appointment?

Acupuncturists recommend you rest after your appointment to continue the healing process.

Drink plenty of water and stay comfortable. Avoid alcohol and coffee. It's important to stay hydrated after acupuncture because it can cause toxins to be released into your system. Staying appropriately hydrated helps flush out those toxins. Since alcohol and coffee both cause dehydrating effects on the body, they should be avoided after acupuncture.

Also, don’t plan a big workout right after an acupuncture session. Some people feel relaxed and restful. Some people are energized. See how you respond to the treatments before jumping into something very strenuous.