woman receiving acupuncture

What to Know Before Your First Acupuncture Session

If you are considering your first acupuncture session, you likely have questions about what the experience will be like and what you should do to prepare for it. Here at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, acupuncture is one of our most valued treatments. Like all of our therapeutic methods, it is nonsurgical, safe, and effective, and the doctors who administer it are well-trained and highly skilled. 

Let’s take a look at exactly what acupuncture is and how it works to relieve pain and inflammation and accelerate healing.

How Acupuncture Works

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical practice that has been used for thousands of years to treat numerous health conditions. It involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on your body known as acupuncture points. These points are strategically chosen to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and have been carefully charted.

Acupuncture is based on the principle that health depends on the unobstructed flow of energy (Qi) through the body and that pain and illness result when that flow is blocked. By inserting needles at precise locations, blockages are removed and the free flow of energy is restored, thereby revitalizing health and comfort.

Although Western medicine took a long time to accept acupuncture as anything but magical thinking, the practice is now an integral part of modern medicine, prescribed and administered by doctors all over the world. Acupuncture has been found to work where many other therapies have failed and is now accepted as effective treatment by the American College of Physicians, the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization (WHO), and a great many other agencies.

Other Reassuring Facts About Acupuncture

  1. Well-respected medical facilities worldwide successfully use acupuncture to treat numerous musculoskeletal ailments, such as back pain, osteoarthritis, sciatica, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, torn ligaments, and fibromyalgia, not to mention migraines and menstrual cramps.
  2. Needles used in acupuncture treatment are as thin as strands of hair. Their insertion is painless and once in place, they cause no discomfort. Many patients doze during their 20-minute therapy sessions
  3. Acupuncture needles come in individualized sterilized packets so they present no threat of infection and are safe. Not only can acupuncture be used on patients who are immunocompromised, but “acupuncture has been demonstrated to regulate the immune system of the body and correct pathological conditions.” 
  4. Acupuncture requires no downtime. Unlike some medical procedures that may leave you needing rest and recovery, you can go about your day as usual after an acupuncture session. Many people are energized and refreshed by acupuncture treatments.
  5. Acupuncturists are trained professionals. In New York, acupuncture practitioners are required to undergo rigorous training and pass comprehensive licensing exams to ensure they meet the highest standards of care. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physiatrists have advanced training in acupuncture and complementary medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Preparing for Your Session

Preparing for your first acupuncture session is easy. Just relax and wear comfortable clothing, although depending upon where needles have to be placed your doctor may suggest you wear a hospital gown for easier access. Do not eat a heavy meal before treatment or come to the session hungry. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and any other stimulants or depressives. Jot down any questions you have about acupuncture to ask your doctor before treatment so you can feel entirely at ease.

Contact Our Experienced Acupuncturists Now

Acupuncture is as remarkable as it is soothing, often providing pain relief and increased mobility beyond your expectations. Contact us now to make an appointment. Soon you, too, will be touting the benefits of a therapy that has been healing patients for thousands of years.