What Should I Expect?
Acupuncture is actually very relaxing. The needles are fine and are not meant to cause any pain. The sensation of the acupuncture needle is often described as a subtle, radiating warmth, a heavy sensation, or a light tingling sensation. Patients often fall asleep on the table, which is a perfectly normal reaction.
Each session is 60 minutes long and will begin with a detailed discussion of your medical history followed by physical diagnosis consisting of three major forms of observation: 1) pulse diagnosis, 2) examining the tongue, and 3) palpation of the meridians in the arms, legs, and abdomen. These three things give deep insight into the meridian systems.
The acupuncture points will then be chosen and stimulated according to the diagnosis and may be followed by a variety of other modalities including moxabustion therapy or cupping.
Moxabustion is a technique which involves warming the meridians using a Chinese herb called Ai Ye, or mugwort, which is burned indirectly over the skin to produce warmth.
Cupping is a technique used to relax and stimulate muscles and regulate the healthy flow of energy throughout the meridians. Cups are suctioned to the body in various locations, mostly on the back, and are either left in place for a few minutes or are gently moved down the course of the meridian. This stimulates and activates the meridian, as well as penetrates the muscle layer to relieve tension. The sensation is often compared to that of a massage.