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9 Confessions of First-time Acupuncture Patients

At Women in Wellness, we help many men and women feel better through acupuncture.  Some have experience with acupuncture, but many try it for the first time in our Maryland office. These “acupuncture virgins” soon discover that acupuncture is not exactly what they expected – not in any specific good or bad way, but just different from the image they’ve built based on what they’ve read and heard.  Here are the most common “confessions” we hear from our customers after their first acupuncture session.

acupuncture confessions

“The needles are so thin!”

Acupuncture needles are just 0.25 mm in thickness. To give you a better idea, that’s the thickness of two hairs from your head – pretty amazing, isn’t it?  Even patients who have fear of needles tend to relax and embrace the experience after the first few insertions of acupuncture needles. For your safety, the needles are disposable and are only used once on each patient.

“I thought it would hurt.”

Because the needles are so thin, the insertion typically feels like a small pin prick and the sensation only lasts half a second. Some people say they don’t feel anything at all, while others may experience a dull ache at the insertion points. Naturally, some areas are more sensitive than others. Sometimes, the sensation from needle insertion may linger after the needles are removed, which is normal and means that the healing process continues past the actual treatment.

“I didn’t get riddled with needles allover.”

TV shows that feature acupuncture often show a person covered in needles like a pin cushion. This is typically not necessary and a common acupuncture session involves anywhere from 4 to 18 needles. The exact number depends on what kind of condition is being treated, as well as personal style of your acupuncturist.

“So, I don’t have to come for acupuncture indefinitely?”

One of the great benefits of acupuncture is its long-lasting effects. Many of our patients experience relief of their symptoms that, after a few sessions, becomes permanent. You don’t have to commit to several years of acupuncture: the treatment starts working at the first appointment and the relief stays with you for a long time.

“A professional acupuncturist actually holds a master’s degree.”

This is something a lot of our patients are genuinely surprised about. A master’s degree is a minimal educational requirement for an acupuncturist in the U.S. In fact, acupuncture is regulated in most states by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

“I didn’t expect my insurance to cover acupuncture.”

Acupuncture has been accepted by the Western medicine widely enough to become a recommended procedure, as well as a covered medical expense. Health insurance companies typically cover acupuncture for pain relief, but the coverage may vary depending on the specific plan and insurance provider. Your acupuncturist can help you verify your coverage – don’t hesitate to ask.

“I wasn’t reminded of a doctor’s office at all.”

Many patients, unsure what to expect, picture a doctor’s office when they head for their first acupuncture appointment. While acupuncturist and your physician could be similar in certain ways, their approach to treatment and the settings are quite different. You won’t see white coats, cold rooms or uncomfortable hospital beds.

Everything in the acupuncture office, including lighting, furniture and temperature, is arranged to help you feel at ease. Acupuncture treatment, even though it involves needle insertion, is actually a very relaxing procedure for many people.

“It didn’t break a bank.”

Pricing for acupuncture treatments may vary by area, but there are usually plenty of more and less expensive options to choose from. If you think you can’t afford acupuncture, don’t dismiss the idea before you get a few quotes from local practitioners. The prices might surprise you and some of your expenses could be covered by your insurance plan. As for acupuncture in the Baltimore area, Women in Wellness is one of the most affordable centers in your neighborhood.

“Acupuncture helped in more ways than I expected!”

Many people think that acupuncture is only effective for relieving pain, but there is so much more to it. Even if you come for pain treatments, you can experience a few positive “side effects” of acupuncture.  Many of our patients say they feel deeply relaxed during and after the procedure, leaving the session with a sense of calm and peace. Some feel more alert and experience mental clarity long after the treatment ended.

What will your first experience with acupuncture be like? Contact us today to request a free consultation with Cara-Michele.

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