What To Expect With Your First Appointment


It is quite natural to be apprehensive about your first acupuncture visit as you will be unsure of what to expect. The idea of long needles being inserted into you may sound scary. However, with a good acupuncturist, the very thin needles we use here at Zhou Wellness, will only be experienced as a slight tickle. There is no pain like that caused when you have injections with large needles that as you may have experienced at doctors’ appointments – so put your mind at rest on this count. Read on to learn more about what to expect with your first acupuncture visit.


Q: What clothing should I wear for the treatment?

A two-piece set of pants and a loose top are best in terms of modesty and ease of access for the acupuncturist. To get the best result, acupuncturist practitioners will target specific points on the body which may not necessarily be at the actual site of the pain you are experiencing in order to get the energy flowing properly. Be prepared by wearing a pair of loose pants that can be rolled up to access points on the leg or easily rolled down to access points in the thigh area. Acupuncture points your specialist uses may include the lower legs and arms, abdomen, and back.

Q: How fast can acupuncture initiate labor in pregnant women?

Researchers have conducted several studies to help expectant mothers understand how traditional acupuncture therapy can help induce delivery. In one study involving eight pregnant women, researchers found four went into labor within 1 to 26 hours after the first treatment. Also, three women went into active labor 4-36 hours after the second session. In the second category, specialists performed the sessions on consecutive days. If you are overdue and want to initiate delivery, and your doctor has approved the procedure, you can proceed.

Q: What does acupuncture feel like?

When the acupuncturist inserts the needles, it feels like a little flick into the body. Most patients don't experience pain as such. Sometimes, the specialist heats the needles or mildly passes an electric current through them, making people feel energized and relaxed at the same time. The FDA regulates the quality of needles used for traditional acupuncture, ensuring that manufacturers provide sterile needles of a high standard.

Q: What can I expect during my first appointment?

At the start of the appointment, the specialist will ask you a series of questions to establish various elements that could contribute to your health issues. The questions may include your sleep pattern, body temperature, bowel movements, quality of life, diet, and the condition of your sense organs, especially your eyes and ears. At the first evaluation, the specialist will be comprehensive and give you a first-time, 60-minute session during which you may be asked questions that you may find a little strange, but they are all related to establishing where your energy flow is blocked. Various things, like the state of your nails and skin, will be assessed to help determine the cause of your problems. Once you answer the questions, your Chinese traditional medicine specialist will know where to focus attention while administering the traditional therapy. Remember, the treatment restores your body's harmony by moving energy along its channels which may have become blocked for various reasons.

Q: How often should I go for traditional therapy?

Once the root of the issues is established, the follow-up appointments for acupuncture treatment will usually take about 30 minutes. A typical plan for treating one ailment, say pains, one or two weekly treatments. However, the number of treatments depends on the condition and its severity. Most practitioners often recommend six to eight sessions to ensure that they have fully opened the energy flow to enable healing. In most cases, they can treat the ailment within the number of sessions they have suggested.

Q: How long does it take the remedy to start working?

The effects of acupuncture can be felt within a short time. Jean says, “One day, I bent over the sign-in desk at work and suddenly could not straighten up. I felt like a 90-year-old woman walking crookedly. I do not have a history of back problems, so I must have tweaked something. After a few days, I could not handle the pain or walk upright and took myself off for an acupuncture treatment. I was back to normal after just one session with the electric current passing through the needles. I could not believe it. I was worried about the needles, but it felt like someone giving a light flick to the point where the needles were inserted. The current passing through the needles was relaxing. I felt the benefits after the first treatment. I did not need follow-up treatments.” For most people the therapeutic effects set in about 3 to 4 days later. If your condition is not chronic, getting treatment once a week is recommended. On the other hand, you should get it twice a week if you have an acute problem, as the sooner you restore the correct flow of energy to your body, the better you will feel. Your specialist will suggest an appropriate treatment plan for you.

Q: What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?

No doubt, the two therapeutic techniques share their similarities, chiefly using stainless steel needles to initiate healing. The needles are inserted into the body through the skin in both cases. However, the difference is that while dry needling seeks to ease muscular pains, acupuncture is a holistic medical practice for treating several ailments. In short, the American Medical Association recognizes the age-long Chinese remedy, and some insurance companies cover the cost of the treatment. As regards its benefits, acupuncture helps treat several ailments, including pain, nausea, headache, menstrual cramps, etc.

Q: How much does it cost?

If you are ready to start your treatment journey, one of the questions you will consider is the cost of acupuncture. On average, the treatment will last between 30 and 60 minutes – even up to 90 minutes. For a one-off authentic treatment that lasts for 45 minutes, it costs $85 at Zhou Wellness. You can also sign up for amazing discounts and bonuses through our membership program. Generally, practitioners charge between $70 and $150 across the United States for a session that lasts for about 30-90 minutes. Note that the fees are subject to change.

Q: How do you go about preparing for an acupuncture session?

To prepare for the session, you need to take note of these points:
• Try to relax before the appointment so you are not stressed.
• Phone or make an appointment online with our specialist
• When you arrive for your initial consultation, please bring your current medications and supplements, so the acupuncture specialist can determine what you are putting into your body.
• Ensure you eat two hours before your appointment so your food has a chance to settle.
• Arrive 15 minutes before your session so you can relax before your appointment.
• Wear loose and comfortable clothing to ensure blood flow is not restricted, and the acupuncturist can access the various acupuncture points.
• Avoid drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks before your appointment with the specialist.

Q: What should I do after the session?

You should never see acupuncture as a quick fix because it is a technique that helps you maintain good health and prevent illness. After a treatment, you should not shower or swim for about 12-24 hours. It would be best if you allowed the energy flows that have been opened to remain undisturbed. If you are suffering from pain, apply a cold compress to ease the pain. There are some instances where it is better to use a hot compress on the affected parts of the body. Your specialist will advise you of the option that will suit your circumstances. It would be best if you rested, did some gentle exercise, or had a soothing massage to help with the effectiveness of the treatment.