What to Expect at Your First Acupuncture Appointment

Acupuncture - True Health and Fitness

Are you interested in trying acupuncture but not sure what to expect? Here is a detailed description about what happens during an initial acupuncture visit at True Health and Fitness.


You will be warmly welcomed by one of our practitioners. True Health and Fitness uses a paperless system (EMR) for charting notes so you will be asked to fill out your information on an iPad using the DrChrono app.  Once all of the information is filled out and consent and HIPAA forms are signed Emily Andrews, LAc or Amy Joyce, LAc will show you into the treatment room to start the initial visit intake.

Intake & Assessment

During the intake the acupuncturist will ask you about your specific chief complaints, health history, family history, and gather information about your general health. She will ask a series of questions that will help her deduce what pattern you are presenting with based on Traditional Chinese Medical Theory. At this appointment and during follow up appointments the acupuncturist will ask to look at your tongue and feel your pulses. These diagnostic tools help an acupuncturist determine the general status of Qi and Blood, and the specific status of Qi and Blood for particular organs.


The acupuncturist will be sure to explain each of the modalities that are included in an acupuncture treatment: acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, tuina, guasha, dietary therapy, and ear seeds. The lights will be low, relaxing music will be played in the background, and rubbing alcohol will be applied to the location of the acupuncture points that will be activated. It may be necessary for a patient to partially disrobe, patient gowns are supplied in those instances and sheets are used for proper draping. The practitioner will clearly describe what the needle insertion may feel like and she will ask you to breathe in an out with each insertion. The needles will be gently inserted into the acupuncture points and Emily may use moxibustion (a gentle heat therapy), cupping, and heat lamps. You will then rest on the table for 20-35 minutes (often times people will fall asleep). After you rest, the acupuncturist will remove the needles and possibly perform some type of Chinese massage such as TuiNa or GuaSha and she may apply ear seeds. You will be asked to take your time getting off of the table as you may feel slightly light headed, this is a normal side effect of an acupuncture treatment.

 After the Treatment

Depending on your chief complaint(s), it may take 4-6 visits to see significant changes. However, often the patient may notice an improvement in mood, sleep, and energy level immediately following the initial visit.  After your treatment it is advised that you avoid caffeine, alcohol, and any strenuous activities such as exercise. The evening after your appointment you may find that you are very tired and it is best to go to bed early.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Emily Andrews, LAc or Amy Joyce, LAc call 724-205-6377 or email us at TrueHealthandFitness@me.com.