Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Come Prepared Eat something light before your appointment. Acupuncture uses your bodies Qi (similar to energy) to create internal change. In order to have available Qi the body needs fuel (food).
Acupuncture can be very relaxing. Avoid caffeine before your appointment so that you can easily relax into the treatment.
Bring your medical records, labs, imaging reports. They will help your Acupuncturist more easily identify your imbalances and get a better understanding of your body.
Be Ready to Share Be prepared to discuss your medial history. Your Acupuncturist will have a lengthy intake form and will ask a lot of questions about things that seem unrelated to the reason for your visit. They may ask about your digestion, energy, stress, sleep patterns, gynecological history, mental health. Acupuncture looks at all of these symptoms as interrelated even if there is no obvious connection from the Western Medicine view.
Tongue & Pulse Your Acupuncturist will ask to feel your pulse. They are not counting beats. With Chinese pulse diagnosis your practitioner will use three fingers on each wrist to access the state of your organs and meridians. They will also ask to look at your tongue to further access any imbalances in your body.
Acupuncture Needles They are very thin. It takes 24 Acupuncture needles to fit into the tip of a hypodermic needle (the needle used at the western doctors office.) Acupuncture needles are single use and disposed of in a sharps container at the end of your treatment.
Your Treatment During treatment you will most likely be laying on a comfortable and warm massage table. There will be a heat lamp for your feet or back. Your Acupuncturist will gently insert needles into the appropriate points. If you experience any pain on insertion or after the needle is in, you need to let your acupuncturist know so that they can adjust the needle. Once the needles are in you shouldn't feel any discomfort. Most often you'll start to feel very relaxed and may even fall asleep. It can be the perfect time for a nap. You practitioner will give you a buzzer or tell you how to contact them if you need them. You will be left to rest for a period. Many times your Acupuncturist will return and gently stimulate the needles or add new needles. They may remove the first set of needles and put in a second set. An average treatment lasts between 20 - 40 minutes.
After Your Treatment It's time to integrate your treatment. To do so it's best to avoid strenuous and stressful activity for the remainder of the day after your Acupuncture appointment. This includes working-out.
Dr. Nicole Anderson L.Ac., DAOM is certified by the National Acupuncture Board and maintains a Missouri Acupuncture license. She has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2013 specializing in pain management, women's health, emotional wellbeing and internal medicine. She currently practices in the Saint Louis area.