Most new clients who come to see me have some degree of apprehension about acupuncture and I completely understand it. This blog post will hopefully ease your nerves and give you some information to use and consider when you select an acupuncturist.
Firstly, there are many different styles, or lineages as we call them, in acupuncture. Some are most definitely stronger that others. I am largely trained in Japanese style, which uses especially fine needles and is amazingly gentle. 90% of my patients fall asleep on the table and the most frequent sheepish question I’m asked at the end of sessions is:
“Did you hear me snoring?” Chinese style is useful especially for pain from serious injuries and some patients actually prefer it. However it is stronger stimulation. So it is good to ask your practitioner before scheduling in what style(s) they are trained and do they use Japanese or Chinese needles as far as gauge. Japanese needles are thinner. The higher the gauge, the more delicate and slender the needle.
Secondly you will immediately get a great deal of information about the acupuncturist from their response to your questions. I compare it to my dentist experiences. I have exceedingly sensitive teeth so though I am a naturally calm person: dental visits riddle me with anxiety.
I have had kind, gentle attentive dentists and I have had those who are immediately flippant and dismissive when I share that my teeth are sensitive. If you get a shrug and a suck-it-up-buttercup type of response from your intended professional, perhaps it will be good to seek another acupuncturist.
Thirdly most everyone has the “no-zone” meaning some body part or area around which they can not deal with acu-points. For me it is hands down: my ankles. When my brilliant business partner does my treatments, I am embarrassed to say I begin a campaign trail of no ankle points speeches. The beauty of Oriental medicine is that acu-points have many, many functions so most always if a patient has an aversion to a particular point there is easily and readily a substitution. You can request substitutions.
Finally, do keep in mind that you are the king of the castle, which is your body. You have a right to ask questions and make requests. More importantly if there is one thing you take away from this post it is my hope that you always avail yourself to methods such as acupuncture and complimentary medicine in addition to conventional medicine. The combination is extraordinarily powerful in optimizing your health.