After Your Acupuncture Treatment

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Our expectation is that patients will feel better each time they receive a treatment. Feeling better might include relief of physical pain, a sense of being more balanced, or a reduction of stress and an increase of relaxation. Please drink lots of water after each treatment in order to flush out the toxins that tend to be released from the body after acupuncture.

Side effects

Side effects are rare but may include the following symptoms: light-headed feeling, headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising, and residual muscle aching. Any of these should last a very short time. It is helpful to take a short nap after acupuncture. To help reduce the risk of side effects, please read the sections entitled Before and During.

Flare ups

On rare occasions one's original symptoms may briefly get worse or 'flare-up' after a treatment. A flare-up typically occurs later on the day of your treatment and only for an hour or so; then improvement and relief follow. If the flare-up lasts longer than this, please call and let us know. In the long run, acupuncture does not make symptoms worse. In some conditions, the body must fully expel a pathogen in order for healing to occur. For example, if you have a cold, acupuncture will not get rid of the cold, but can help accelerate the cold cycle so your body gets healthy sooner. If you are fatigued and starting to get a cold, acupuncture may help your body ward it off. There are also some terrific herbal formulas for this. In cases of chronic pain, your original pain may improve and then unmask other less obvious pain in the surrounding area. Please report what happened when you return so we can modify your treatment accordingly. We will also be interested in any change in your use of painkiller medications as a result of treatment. Please be advised that changes in prescription medication require prior approval and strict monitoring by your family physician.

Course of Treatment

As part of your first visit, we will discuss with you a proposed course of treatment. Since individuals vary, it is difficult to state definitively at the time of your first visit how many treatments will be required. In general, acute conditions of recent onset may only require 2 or 3 treatments. Chronic conditions usually require more treatments to achieve sustained results. With chronic conditions we usually recommend an initial course of 3 to 5 treatments in order to make a better assessment of whether or not acupuncture will help the condition. Most people begin to experience results within the first 2 treatments. If there has been no response to the acupuncture after 4 to 6 treatments, acupuncture will likely not work and other approaches should be considered.