I just found this article and it has some good points for those of you on the fence. The only thing I would add is that Chinese Medicine has alternative therapies that don't involve needles if you're supremely phobic, but, as a patient and practitioner, I have seen that needles often do something special that other modalities just can't. This might mean some conditions may not resolve or may resolve a lot more slowly. Just something to keep in mind!
8 Tips for Acupuncture First-Timers
By TheDailyZeel | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 4, 2012 12:01 PM EST
New York City acupuncturist Bruce Mandelbaum has been treating elite runners for more than 25 years. No stranger to sports injuries himself, Bruce is an endurance athlete and long-time member of the Central Park Track Club, and knows first-hand how acupuncture can complement a vigorous training regimen.A few painless facts about acupuncture.
But here's the kicker; while there are plenty of zealous athletes who are all too happy to put their body through a marathon, triathlon or other challenging feat, there are far less who embrace alternative healing therapies like acupuncture to maintain their physical health. Why? In many cases, it's fear of the unknown.
Sure, the thought of acupuncture can be intimidating to a newbie, even if the potential discomfort of a needle is far less daunting than the pain of running 26.2 miles. Bruce, a "true sports acupuncturist" and a prominent media personality, tames our trepidations with simple tips for all you first timers out there.
Face the facts. There's no way around it. Acupuncture involves needles. Sounds obvious, but it's important to get past this fact before booking your appointment. Over it? Good.
Gain without the pain. Despite what you may think, acupuncture doesn't hurt that much. Bruce explains that, unlike a physician's needle, which is thick and filled with fluid, acupuncture needles are much thinner. In fact, if one were to be held seven or eight feet away, you wouldn't see it at all.
Fresh and clean. Acupuncture needles are always 100 percent sterile and disposed of after use. A professional would never use them over and over again.
Eat lightly. While it's important to eat some sort of food to prevent dizziness or nausea, avoid over-indulging before a session. Stick to a snack consumed a few hours prior to your appointment.
What's poppin'? If you're currently taking vitamins, herbs or medications, consult your provider to determine whether you should continue to do so prior to and in between sessions.
Ouch to ahh. In many cases, acupuncture can offer immediate relief from pain. It's not uncommon to feel at least some improvement on the day of your appointment.
Don't rush it. The overall effect of acupuncture can take a few treatments. It's important that you commit to these treatments in order to achieve the cumulative results.
It's in the zone. Acupuncture can deliver a new-found sense of pain relief and overall restoration. Some of Bruce's clients describe that they feel as though they're "in a zone."
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