Preparing for your Acupuncture Appointment by Hitomi Asano L.Ac

If it’s your first time getting acupuncture, here are some things you should know or expect about your upcoming appointment.

Eat! Make sure you have a little something in your stomach before your appointment. It doesn’t have to be a huge meal, it can be something small that’s within a few hours before treatment. We don’t want your blood sugar level to be low! Acupuncture on an empty stomach can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting.

Don’t drink coffee! Coffee is a stimulant and can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system- the body’s fight or flight response. The main objective of acupuncture is to relax your body and increase your body’s natural ability to heal itself. The caffeine can interfere with that process so you may not be getting the most out of that treatment. Also, caffeine can increase your sensitivity to the needle so it may feel painful compared to normal.

Thin, filiform needles! We use sterile, surgical-grade, stainless steel, filiform needles for acupuncture. They are single-use and always disposed of in the hazardous sharps container after it is used. The needles are much smaller than hypodermic needles. They are usually flexible and the width of a few strands of hair. So you can fit as many as 10 of the acupuncture needles into the tip of a hypodermic needle.

An acupuncturist can use more than needles! Needles are not the only thing we have in our toolbox. Under the Chinese medicine modality, we may utilize other techniques such as acupressure (pressure massage on the acupuncture points), tuina (Chinese medical massage), cupping (suction of the skin), guasha (scraping on the skin), moxibustion (heating on the skin), ear seeds (auricular seeds/magnets on the ear) during your treatment.

Expect to answer unusual questions! We like to ask various questions regarding your lifestyle and health. Don’t be alarmed if we ask for details about your digestion, bowel movement, urination, and menstrual cycle (women). The more we know about what is going on within and outside your body, the better the diagnosis will be.

Tongue and Pulse! You may be asked to show your tongue or have your pulse taken. The quality and condition of your tongue and pulse can show the conditions of your internal organs. It will help us make a better diagnosis and improve your treatment outcome.

Wear loose-fitting clothes! Make sure your clothes are comfortable so that you can have the ultimate relaxing experience. Also, acupuncture points are all over your body. We may need to access behind your knee, near your sternum, and even around your belly. Having loose fitted clothes ensures easier access to certain parts of the body.

Silence your phone! Silence or turn off your phones and put it away so you aren’t disturbed during your acupuncture session. We want you to be relaxed during the treatment. Answering emails, texting, getting your work done while you rest with the acupuncture needles will take away from your treatment. And you don’t want your phone to ring while you are in a relaxed state of mind or wake you from your restorative nap.

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New Jersey Top Doctor 2017
New Jersey Top Doctor 2017
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Monmouth Health and Life Magazine Reader's Choice Award 2015 Winner
Monmouth Health and Life Magazine Reader's Choice Award 2016 Winner