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What You Should Know Before Your First Acupuncture Session

Updated: 2 days ago

Every person has been in a position where they feel intimidated taking their first workout class or even attending their first wellness session. It can be difficult to know what to expect from classes and sessions when it’s your first time. But here at CHI-SOCIETY, we’re here to help! Our knowledgeable and professional Acupuncture practitioners share their expertise on everything you need to know before your first Acupuncture session!


Whether you are very experienced within the Acupuncture world, are a beginner, or have never even heard of Acupuncture, we got you covered! Don’t know what to expect from your first Acupuncture session? From tips to general knowledge about Acupuncture, we put together a master guide to all things Acupuncture! Read below to learn more!

WHAT EXACTLY IS ACUPUNCTURE?

Since the 1980s, Acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine and a component of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body, has become more and more popular. If you’ve never heard of or tried Acupuncture, it’s important to learn about it to see if it is for you!


Cupping and acupuncture are both pillars of Traditional East Asian Medicine. Both work together, in individually, to restore the body back to its natural balance. Many Acupuncture studies have shown that Acupuncture has effectively treated conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea, migraine headache, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and infertility.


CHI-SOCIETY is proud to partner with two awesome Chicago Acupuncture partners — Modern Acupuncture Lincoln Park & Kelly Maher Acupuncture + Wellness. Below, you can read what both of our partners offer.


At Modern Acupuncture, they use both cupping and acupuncture to restore balance, provide a safe space for patients to fill their cup, and offer a sanctuary of calm and serenity. Their appointments are just 30 minutes, making it realistic to include in your monthly or weekly wellness routine.


With Kelly Maher, she uses both acupuncture to address blockages or disturbances in the flow of your body's qi, or energy, to help alleviate health issues. Kelly also depending on what you’re treating will apply orthopedic needling, moxa, cupping, guasha, and/or body work to complete the session. An acupuncture session with Kelly can not only be healing, but it can also give you an hour to slow down and relax.



HOW ARE ACUPUNCTURE SESSIONS SET UP?

Acupuncture sessions can be very different for individuals and it all depends on what you are treating. However, it’s still important to know the basics of Acupuncture so you are prepared for your session and know what to expect!


What is Acupuncture anyways? Acupuncture uses whisper-thin needles placed intentionally at different points throughout the body. This is only done by a Licensed Acupuncturist. During an acupuncture treatment, the needles work together along the body to accomplish three main things:


  1. Increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to areas of the body that are lacking

  2. Increasing the production of the body’s feel-good hormones (think endorphins) and reducing the production of the body’s stress hormone, cortisol

  3. Increasing the release of the body’s natural painkillers as so many of our patients come to us with pain issues.


Many Acupuncturists can include add-ons in your sessions, like mentioned above, depending on what you need and what you are treating. One of many add-ons that can be included in your session is Cupping or also known as Cupping Therapy. Cupping Therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin with the application of heated cups. Cupping therapy is used to remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi). It involves placing cups on the skin to create a vacuum. When it is applied to the skin, the tissue is drawn up into the cup. This increases blood flow, loosens the fascia or connective tissue, and stimulates healing.


Other add-ons include: Ear seeds & tacks, Moxibustion (Moxa), Gua Sha, and TUI NA.


HOW TO PREPARE BEFORE YOUR FIRST SESSION

Preparing for your first Acupuncture session can be nerve-wracking, but is so important to prepare so you know what to expect. By reading this article, you are one step closer to being prepared, but there’s still a lot to do beforehand! Here are the most crucial tips:


  1. Wear loose clothing — wear something that is stretchy and comfortable.

  2. Consider any other medical or health treatments you might be receiving so that your Acupuncturist can evaluate how to go about your session.

  3. Bring a positive attitude, be ready to learn, and have fun!


Depending on where you go, Acupuncturists can schedule their sessions differently. Here’s what one of our partners say!


Modern Acupuncture Lincoln Park: “Our Licensed Acupuncturist will spend the first few minutes of the appointment doing a consultation getting to know your areas of concern and learn more about your lifestyle. They will then place about 20 needles throughout the body, while you remain clothed in our community-style space. If coming in for back, neck, shoulder pain we will treat you by laying face down on a table. The needles will remain inserted for 15-20 minutes, giving you the time to meditate and relax. After the treatment, our Licensed Acupuncturist will remove the needles and provide you with a treatment plan, or frequency of visits needed in order to get the best results from the treatment.


During our cupping treatment, our Licensed Acupuncturist will also do a consultation and place cups all over the body and move them before allowing them to do their work.”



HOW TO EXPECT DURING YOUR FIRST SESSION

It’s happening — your first Acupuncture session is starting! Expect your Acupuncturist to insert very thin needles into specific spots on your body and don’t forget to take deep breaths! It’s important to relax during these treatments.


Make sure to arrive early for your first session as well so you can get fully situated and ready for the treatment. It’s important to arrive early so you can get properly set up – this is key to having an enjoyable and relaxing Acupuncture session!


Here’s what Modern Acupuncture Lincoln Park says, “During the treatment, the best approach is to relax. Leave your worries at the door and feel the energy of the clinic and be open to the effectiveness of your treatment. Use the time while you are experiencing the benefit to meditate and close your eyes. Many of our patients get in a quick nap!”



HOW TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR FIRST SESSION

You’re all done and you completed your first ever Acupuncture session! If you're relatively new to Acupuncture, continue to relax after your appointment so that proper healing can occur. Also, don’t forget to notice the effects of your treatment and don’t forget to give your Acupuncturist feedback.


Modern Acupuncture Lincoln Park expresses, “The best feeling after a treatment is that acu-high. It’s that feeling like you are floating, your parasympathetic nervous system is finally working and you’ve got those wonderful endorphins. It’s an amazing feeling. Your Licensed Acupuncturist will also give you a treatment plan. Acupuncture is cumulative and you cannot expect to solve any issue after one treatment. To get the most benefit out of treatments, follow the treatment plan. After acupuncture treatments, we advise you to go to bed early, refrain from intense physical activity for the remainder of the day, stay hydrated, and limit alcohol intake. This will ensure you get the most out of the treatment.


We also want cupping patients to do the same as above and keep the area cupped covered and away from intense cold.”


TIPS & ADDITIONAL INFO

Acupuncture is a treatment that can help you feel balanced, healed, and restored. Here are some last few tips from our partnered practitioner, Nilam, on Acupuncture sessions!


“It doesn’t hurt! The needles are thinner than a strand of hair. The owner of the clinic usually faints when she gives blood and this is a walk in the park for her! Everyone is surprised how they don’t feel anything when the needles are going in. This is a safe space and anytime you feel like you want to stop you can always say so! We are here for you and want to ensure you are comfortable.


There are a TON of positive side effects from acupuncture treatments. I’m more relaxed, more patient, have better digestion, and SLEEP SO WELL. You’ll never know until you try!”


* All tips and expertise were provided by Owner of Modern Acupuncture Lincoln Park, Nilam Trivedi


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