At the first appointment a detailed history of your lifestyle, Dr. Helen, a registered Hong Kong Acupuncturist, will consult your major illnesses, medication history and present problems, this is to ensure that that the technique is suitable for you and to explain the procedure.
Hong Kong Acupuncturists choose specific points to place the needles based on your condition. From 1 to 12 points will typically be used during a session, and sometimes more depending on the number of symptoms you have. The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle tissue. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes. Only sterile disposable acupuncture needles are used. You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted. You should not experience any significant pain. If you do, let your practitioner know straight away who will be monitoring you throughout the session.
On average, most appointments are 60 minutes long. Frequency of sessions will depend on your condition and after discussion with the acupuncturist.
Unlike the needles, we are used to at Western medical offices which are hollow and thick, acupuncture needles are extremely fine and solid and therefore the sensation of acupuncture needle being inserted is very different to having blood drawn or of having an injection and in many case patients do not even feel the insertion of acupuncture needles.
The beneficial effects of this technique can be immediate, but in some cases improvement in symptoms may take a few days. Repeated treatments are sometimes necessary to see full benefits.
The FDA now regulates acupuncture needles, just as it does other devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes, under good manufacturing practices and single-use standards of sterility.