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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anna Lunaria, Doctor of Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine

What to expect during your first Acupuncture appointment

Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years to naturally relieve pain, restore health and nurture wellbeing. Acupuncture is Mind-Body-Spirit medicine,

it is equally effective for physical maladies as well as mental-emotional imbalances. Acupuncture can successfully treat most health concerns, from pain to anxiety to infertility and allergies.

It’s estimated that only one in ten Americans have tried Acupuncture. Acupuncture is becoming more popular, especially since the opioid crisis has more people turning to natural pain relief methods. There are over 13,000 studies researching if, how and why Acupuncture works. The most well established mechanism verify that acupuncture prompts the body to release endorphins and endogenous (self-made) opioids. Newer studies find that it releases adenosine (the A in ATP) which is a natural analgesic (pain killer), vasodilator (improves blood flow) and sedative (natural calming effect) the moment an Acupuncture needle enters the body.

The most frequently asked questions about Acupuncture is: Does it hurt? Many people are afraid of needles. I explain that while many of us associate needles with injections and blood draws, those needles are much thicker than an acupuncture needle. The needles we prefer at Yin Rising Acupuncture are as thin as hair. They glide into the body almost with no sensation or a tiny pinch. Acupuncture points are generally located near nerves but not directly on nerves and also are not near major blood vessels. Bruising can occasionally occur if a tiny capillary is pierced. Most people find Acupuncture painless. And since Acupuncture can induce a sense of peace and euphoria, our patients learn to enjoy the whole process.

Other common questions:

Q: How much does it hurt compared to a tattoo?

A: It’s not comparable because getting tattoos hurt and use larger needles.

Q: Are needles reused?

A: No, all our needles come in sterile packages and are disposed off in a Sharps container.

Q: Do I keep my clothes on?

A: It depends on what we are treating. If you do remain clothed it’s best to wear clothes that are easy to roll up past the knee and elbow. If we’re treating back or hip pain, then yes, clothes are generally removed.

Q: How long are treatments?

A: It depends on what we  treating and your age, state of health and preferences. Treatments can be as quick as 20 minutes while some can be 90 minutes to incorporate needles on two or more sides of the body as well as other treatments such as Cupping or massage. Generally an Acupuncture treatment lasts 45 minutes: 10-15 minutes to insert the needles with 25-30 minutes of resting while the needles remain in place. MRI studies indicate that after 30 minutes the brain stops responding to Acupuncture stimuli.

Q: Do I need to lay perfectly still when my needles are in?

A: No, the needles are so thin they bend with movement. If you need to move to rest more comfortably you should be able to adjust your position without pain.

Q: How old do you have to be to receive it?

A: My youngest patient was 3 weeks old (colic) and my oldest patient was 94.

Q: How many sessions do I need to see a difference?

A: Acupuncture is not voodoo. While most patients do feel a difference within one treatment, Acupuncture is a physiological process not a magic treatment. Acupuncture helps the brain perceive pain less while stimulating the body to heal tissue and rebalance neurotransmitters and the brain as well as the immune and endocrine systems. Most chronic conditions can take 10-20 treatments. And research shows that Acupuncture works best when received 2-3 times per week. The best part is that the benefits of Acupuncture are long lasting with many people still feeling better a year after their initial treatment course.

Please contact Dr. Anna Lunaria, Licensed Acupuncturist @ Yin Rising Acupuncture @ 6101 S Rural Rd. Suite 112, Tempe, AZ to experience the natural healing power of Acupuncture. (480) 206-6199 BOOK NOW

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