March 10, 2020

What you Should Know Before Your First Acupuncture

9 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Over the weekend I was invited to an acupuncture clinic for the first time in my life! The place was called ORA, a new luxurious acupuncture clinic located in NOHO (second location coming soon to the UES). 

For those of you who aren't familiar with acupuncture, it's basically a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine in which needles are inserted into your body. 

ORA is finally bringing traditional techniques of ancient Chinese medicine into our modern world. Their making it super convenient to walk into a calm and relaxing space, speak privately with an acupuncturist before deciding on which treatment is best for you. 

They offer a luxurious experience of customizable acupuncture along with herbal teas & tonics.
Ora focuses on pain, sexual health, GI + digestion, immunity, emotion/mental health and optimization. Each treatment customize for each individual.

Aside from acupuncture, ORA also offers cupping (which I'm going to try next). Price ranges from $50-$130. The experience is worth every penny. Intro (65 minutes, $130), Essential (50 minutes, $120) and Express (30 minutes, $50).

Before my appointment I shared on social media that I was going to get acupuncture for the first time and received so many questions and comments regarding my first visit. Below are some great facts along with the answers to all your questions.

Things you shouldn't do before/after your acupuncture appointment

- Don't drink alcohol before or after your appointment. Alcohol causes dehydration to the body and it messes with your awareness. Which is one of the main goals of acupuncture, to bring greater clarity and awareness to how you feel.

- Don't drink caffeine before your appointment or at least two hours before. Coffee is a stimulant, it increases your fight-to-fight response, which acupuncture seeks to lessen. 

- Don't go in on an empty stomach. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable while thinking about how hungry you are. You need to be relaxed during the process and not worried. I would recommend snacking on something before your apartment. Nothing too heavy. 

Please turn off your phone. This is your time to relax and phones can be a huge distraction. I decided to put mine on vibrate, got a call and simply couldn't stop wondering who called. So turn it off completely to avoid any interruptions.

It being my very first time trying acupuncture I went in with an open mind and with a full face of makeup. This is one thing I now know not to do during my next visit as I was laying face down the entire time. Do yourself a favor and visit with minimal things on your face. 

How many sessions do you need to see results?

If you think one session of acupuncture is going to solve your problem, you are very wrong. Nonetheless, you will notice a difference after your first visit. Some have felt a difference instantly and while others need more than one visit to really start seeing results. It all depends on your body and on the reason why you are seeking acupuncture. Regular visits can obviously help the body's overall wellness by increasing blood flow throughout it's energy channels for better day-to-day physical and mental performance. I was recommended at least one visit per week for six weeks.

Did it hurt?

This was one of the most frequent questions that I got and the answer is no. In my experience, it's not painful at all. The idea of someone putting needles into your skin does sound alarming. but not when the needles are super small and hair-thin. During my visit I was laying face down and felt only tingling sensations when each needle was inserted. Once there, the sensation disappeared. 

How was your experience?

It was unique. I noticed as my acupuncturist was performing the treatment that my emotional state was high. I don't know why but I started to cry uncontrollably. She advanced me not to be alarmed that this was normal and many patients act the same way. "there's a belief that when you have an emotional or dramatic experience, that you hold those unsolved emotions in your fascia, connective tissue that surrounds your muscles and organs".

In other words you can use acupuncture to release emotional blockage in the body that has been caused by mental and emotional trauma. Sometimes you try things you didn't even know you needed. This is part of why I enjoyed my session so much. After I was done, I felt a sense of relief or weigh lifted off my shoulders. 

What does acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture treats more than just physical pain. As mentioned above, the treatments focuses on Pain ( chronic muscle pain, migraines, nerve pain, tendonitis ), Sexual Health ( fertility, libido, hormonal balance, menstrual cramps, erectile dysfunction ), Mental and Emotional Health ( stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, addiction ), Digestion ( constipation, bloating, restore balance to the gut ), Immunity ( cold, and flu, sinus relief, allergies, immune deficiency ), Optimize ( detox, hangover, overall wellness, physical and mental performance. recovery and prevention ). 

Overall, this is an experience you have to try at least once in your lifetime.

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