You might go to acupuncture for all sorts of reasons
which might include; anti-aging, general wellness, relief from headaches, or if you’re like me; maybe for hormone and thyroid balancing (you can click here for a detailed post about that). It was a little nervous (and that’s okay if you are too!), especially because I tend to have anxiety around new situations, sensations, or places (especially bad when it comes to health) – and this happened to be ALL those things including the cherry on top – health!
My first consultation went fantastic, and upon your first meeting, you’re going to make sure you feel comfortable and trusted their competence. It didn’t hurt that one of my best friends works in the practice I went to, so I think that helped settle my nerves a substantial amount.
Make sure you look up the doctors’ credentials and thankfully had someone to personally ask about their experience at said practice!
He was well knowledged in my lifestyle diet and put all supplements into consideration that I was vegan. If you have certain ethical, lifestyle, or medical needs, you’ll want to put this into high consideration to increase your comfort levels. Instead of insisting I change my diet, we discussed some small changes that could take place to help me better my health. Something to take into consideration is most insurances won’t cover acupuncture, however some do. So, make sure you check to see if its covered or at least have your sessions go toward your deductible.
Before making the commitment, make sure you can afford your sessions.
For instance, if you’re going to treating an internal issue, frequent appointments may be necessary at first (ask your doctor of course!) For myself, I know I should be going twice a week, but I can only afford once a week, knowing this I make sure I do my best to follow other protocols I was given (influx of many different kinds of mushrooms for amino acids, b12 spray, certain yoga poses, daily vitamin D tablets, DHA+EPA, and holistic thyroid support complex.)
You’ll want to wear loose and comfortable clothing
Which, I know most of us will jump to that offer! Each person’s points will be different during the session. You might wind up by dressing down to the basics (being covered with towels for privacy.) Since you might even have quite a few points on your legs, stomach, and chest (and one right on your forehead – a little scary but my personal fav!)
So, keep in mind that everyone’s experiences will be different.
One thing I can confidently say, is its doubtful you’ll feel any REAL pain.
Even if you’re very sensitive to needles (I know you’d figure with all these tattoos I’d be used to it but IM NOT!) Honestly, you’ll barely feel anything when it’s happening. When you do feel something, just remember to come back to breath, and the discomfort will completely subside. If it doesn’t and is causing actual pain, make sure you mention it to your doctor.
The third thing to consider is how long you’ll be alone with your thoughts.
Maybe if you don’t do much meditating if any at all, being in a dim-lit room for 30min to 1 hour will seem like an ETERNITY. Even as someone who meditates often, sometimes I can get a little restless. But THEN, I have times like my most recent session where I was able to lucid dream while getting acupuncture. When my session was over – I seriously felt like a new person. Just remember that you’re doing this service for your body and wellbeing.
No looking at your phone, worrying about what’s for dinner, your to-do list, or really anything non-essential.
Nothing matters during this time except yourself.
What matters during those moments is letting go, and when you feel your mind starting to wander – I go back to your breath and concentrate on that. I even have moments when that won’t work, and I like to envision my body actually being healed by a white light, or sometimes I’ll get creative and imagine spirit guides performing reiki on my body and conversing about the light healing my particular ailment. Sometimes this form of visualization helps calm my mind while getting some of that pent up energy out in a constructive way instead of ruminating thoughts. I heard this quote once saying if you don’t have 15 minutes to meditate, you should be meditating for 30 minutes. Does that resonate with anyone else?
Number four might seem obvious to some, and profound to others, but you might like to eat a few hours before, and afterward have a light meal. I’m going after work and it’s a little late by the time I get home, so adjust accordingly to your schedule. Also, to make sure you’re drinking an adequate amount of h20 the day of my appointment too!
The last thing is the most important and might seem like a hypocritical statement.
Don’t expect relaxation.
Don’t expect profound meditative states.
Don’t expect immediate results
Don’t expect all of your pain to be resolved after one session.
Go into it with a completely open mind!
What are some things you wish you knew before your first acupuncture appointment? Or even better, what’s something you learned along the way?