Balance Center Acupuncture
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What to Expect

Initial Assessment

Your first visit will begin with an in-depth assessment of your condition and an initial treatment. Please allow about an hour and a half for your first visit. Typical follow-up treatments last approximately 45-50 minutes.

During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Chinese medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. Oriental medicine is unique in that it appreciates that although symptoms may be identical, their causes may vary and the people who are suffering from them are individuals.


Needles are typically retained for about 30 minutes. Soothing music will be played to help you relax during this time - many people even fall asleep during treatment! In addition to acupuncture, treatments may also include heat therapy, Tui Na massage, herbal recommendations, nutritional supplements, and diet and lifestyle advice.

What to Expect After Treatment

Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies.  Be aware that relief of pain sometimes leads people to over-exert themselves before they are fully healed.  This can lead to recurrence of pain and delay healing.  Be patient, just because your pain is gone after your treatment doesn’t mean you can run a marathon later that day!    

Side Effects

Side effects are rare, but may include the following: lightheadedness, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising, residual muscle aches. Any of these side effects should only last a short time and should be reported at your next visit. Staying hydrated and resting after your treatment will help to minimize the risk of side effects.

Course of Treatment

The ideal approach to illness is to begin treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the easier it is to treat. For longstanding illnesses, weekly treatments may be required for several months in order to have a curative effect whereas acute conditions may only require two or three treatments. Once you initiate a healing process, it is important to follow through on treatments. The more consistent you are, the better the likelihood of results. The effects of acupuncture tend to be cumulative. After you are feeling better, a few additional treatments may be recommended. In Oriental medicine, this is referred to as "solidifying the constitution." The goal is to further strengthen your body to prevent recurrence of the illness.

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