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What to expect from an Acupuncture treatment

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Are you curious about acupuncture and wondering what to expect?

Initial consultations usually run for 75-90 minutes, giving the practitioner the opportunity to gain a holistic view of your health. Often, follow-ups will be 60 minutes. The initial treatment will allow extra time to speak in-depth about your health history for diagnostic purposes. In follow-ups, the interview process will be shorter. The practitioner will also feel the radial pulse of both hands and inspect the tongue to gather deeper information on your current health presentation before deciding on an appropriate treatment plan. When you are cosy on the massage table the practitioner will insert the (very small) acupuncture needles into the points they have chosen for your individual treatment. Now you might be thinking, what does acupuncture feel like?



We call the needle sensation that can be felt by both the client and the practitioner, de qi and clients often describe it as heavy, numb, aching, dull, radiating, spreading and/or tingling sensation.

Depending on the diagnosis the practitioner may choose additional treatments such as moxibustion (the burning of mugwort herb over acupuncture points), cupping, acupressure, Chinese tui na massage, the use of a heat lamp or herbal liniments, gua sha (scraping along the meridian lines with a tool) or electro acupuncture. Generally, you will be on the table for at least 30-40 minutes, and when you get up expect to be in a state of total relaxation. Follow-up treatments will vary depending on the condition. Lifestyle and dietary advice will also be given to suit your unique presentation. Curious and want to read a brief history of acupuncture?

https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/43/5/662/1788282?login=true




Bing, Z., & Hongcai, W. (2010). Diagnostics of traditional Chinese medicine. Singing dragon: London.

Campbell, A. (2001). Acupuncture in practice - beyond points and meridians. Elsevier Ltd. London.

Johnson, M. I., & Benham, A. E. (2010). Acupuncture needle sensation: the emerging evidence. Acupuncture in Medicine, 28(3), 111–114. https://doi:10.1136/aim.2010.002535

Wu, H., Fang, Z., & Chen, P. (2013). Introduction to diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine. World century publishing Co. Ltd. London.

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