What to Expect After Your First Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture is a completely individualized method of treatment, so what you experience post-treatment can vary. There are several common responses that I see in the clinic regularly.

Gradual improvement

    This is the most common response to treatment. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, so each treatment builds on the ones before it. Subtle improvement typically begins after the first treatment, but in some situations (typically with more chronic health issues) it can take a few treatments for relief to begin to be felt. 

Spontaneous improvement

    Some people find that after one acupuncture treatment, their symptoms completely resolve. Sometimes the body is so ready to shift, all it needs is a little nudge. While this is less common, it is truly incredible when it happens. I have seen this happen for clients in my clinic with acute and chronic pain, allergies, neuropathy, sleep issues, anxiety and digestive issues.

Healing crisis

    In certain situations (I most commonly see this with chronic pain and mental health issues) symptoms can become worse after treatment for a short period of time (sometimes just a few hours, but not more than 2-3 days) and then suddenly improve drastically. This occurs as the body works hard to re-calibrate and detox after treatment. This is a less common response to treatment, but it does occasionally occur. This response is not “bad” or “wrong”, it is just a reflection of the patient’s current internal environment.

How to maximize the benefits of acupuncture

Follow all of your practitioner’s recommendations regarding diet, herbs/supplements, treatment frequency, and lifestyle shifts.

Hydrate well before and after treatment (and always)

Listen to your body post-treatment and honor what you feel you need

Allow yourself to rest as needed in the days following treatment.


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