Finding the Right Acupuncturist

Posted by on Jan 20, 2011 in Acupuncture | 2 Comments

I’ve heard many people express an interest in acupuncture, but not know which acupuncturist to visit. Acupuncture is an intimate and personal experience, and it is important to find the RIGHT acupuncturist.

I once left an acupuncture appointment before allowing the acupuncturist to insert needles. I grew increasingly uncomfortable while the acupuncturist asked questions about my health history. I felt that the acupuncturist wasn’t listening to me and that he was making (baseless) assumptions about my health. Because I wasn’t comfortable with this practitioner, and I had the feeling that I would end up worse off after treatment. Although my heart was pounding, I interrupted the intake and respectfully stated that I didn’t want to continue. The acupuncturist immediately understood and gracefully excused me from the appointment. I felt good about sticking up for my instincts, and the next acupuncturist I found was AMAZING–a much better fit for me.

Finding the right acupuncturist doesn’t mean finding the expert in town. Rather, I think it is important to find an acupuncturist that you trust–an acupuncturist with whom you feel a natural rapport. Research has shown that being comfortable with your acupuncturist can actually accentuate the healing benefits of acupuncture.

Many acupuncturists (including myself) offer a free consultation. Use this as an opportunity to interview your acupuncturist. Here are some good questions to ask a potential acupuncturist:
* Do you have experience treating my health issue?
* Do you enjoy treating my health issue?
* Do you work with herbs or dietary therapy?
* How will you address my specific issues?
* How often will I need treatment, and for how long?
* When will I experience results, and what results can I expect?

By asking some initial questions of your potential acupuncturist, you can get a sense of your acupuncturist’s experience, treatment approach, and communication skills. After the consultation, ask yourself:
*Do I think this acupuncturist will listen to me?
*Did I feel rushed in the consultation? Will this acupuncturist spend adequate time with me?
*Can I discuss intimate health issues with this acupuncturist?
*Do I trust this acupuncturist to help me?

After considering your answers to these questions, I still recommend going with your gut instincts. Your relationship with your acupuncturist is an intimate one, and if something intangibly doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right.

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