Acupuncture should not be painful. Because the sensations of acupuncture are subjective, from person to person, there is a broad range of variability. Some patients find acupuncture to very relaxing and feel sleepy afterwards, while others feel invigorated and renewed.
Common sensations at the needle sight are a dull ache, heaviness, or spreading. Some more sensitive people may feel tingling and movement, while others may feel nothing. All of this is okay. These sensations are positive and indicate that the body’s own healing response has been stimulated.
The most intense sensations are usually felt with trigger point acupuncture when the patient is in muscular spasm. This has been described as the sensation of the muscle “jumping” on its own.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Japanese style of acupuncture is the most subtle and gentle. Of course, if any of the treatment styles don’t agree with you, we can use an alternative method.
The number of needles varies depending on the treatment, but an average treatment consists of 15-20 needles. The treatment usually begins with needles being placed on the feet, lower legs, hands, and forearms and then in the area of the complaint.
The length of time for treatment depends on what the chief complaint is and how chronic the complaint is. If the onset of the complaint is acute, and the problem is straight forward, it is possible to resolve the issue in 1-3 weekly treatments. If the onset of the complaint is chronic, and the problem is complicated it may take up to several months of weekly treatment to resolve. However even in the latter case, you should be seeing improvement within the first three weekly sessions.
Once a condition is resolved, patients often decide to come in periodically for maintenance or prevention. This may be once a month, once a season, or on an as needed basis.