First Acupuncture visit: In my Ridgewood office in Bergen county, NJ, I have been helping people through their first acupuncture visit. I see a lot of new patients who are newbies to acupuncture. They can be very scared of needles, and very unfamiliar with how the visits go and what to expect. If you don’t address these three concerns you won’t help them make it through their first acupuncture visit.
People are freaked out by the needle: Most people have had bad experiences with needles. They remember a childhood emergency, or a bad trip to the doctor, that ended in taking blood or getting a shot. As a result, so many people have a fear of needles. When people see how thin an acupuncture needle really is, they say “that’s it?” Most people have no idea how small acupuncture needles area. The needles are as thin as a cat whisker. When people see there is nothing injected in the needle, they get a sense that there is something different to this needle than other needles! This is the first essential in helping people through their first acupuncture visit.
Outline the process of care: Acupuncture can be very unknown to most people so what I like to do is outline the process for them. We will do some talking in a form of a consult. We will do an examination where I can pinpoint the cause of the problem. After which I may or may not give acupuncture and or Chinese herbal formulas to help correct their problem. I don’t want people to have any surprises, as it is new and unknown. But once people see what you can do for them, and how you can make them feel, they start to trust you and open up a lot about other problems that they may have. The key is good communication and telling them what the steps are along the way. I get some people who are too taken back by the whole idea, so I give them their outline and recommendations and let them get back to me, no hard selling. The work speaks for itself. The process and frame work need to be laid out properly. Many times I see people who tell me they were cured in 1 visit! But now they have returned and they have really bad arthritis, not a neck spasm. That is going to take more time than a muscle issue and the patient has to be made aware of that or they will be very upset that they didn’t get the one shot cure!!! This is the second essential in helping people through their first acupuncture visit.
Telling people what to expect: For some people they will take a long time to respond, while others much less time. A person with severe pain due to an injury with surgery will need more care than someone who has strained themselves when they were working in the garden. Each presents its own challenges, but I try to manage people’s expectation. With each successive visit, pain will go down and return, but less. It is the less part that we capitalize on and make the body work harder at recovering by itself. We just do that by putting in the needles to help the blood flow, the nervous system respond better and better. So it is a process for some and quicker for others depending on the severity of the condition and what they are doing to aggravate it between sessions. I had a woman with severe neck and shoulder pain causing radiating pain down her right arm. I recommended stopping her Pilates to give the shoulder some time to rest. She refused for two months and then decided to try it. It helped her to rest it. She was making better progress with resting the area. I try to be as honest with people in telling them what they should expect. This takes the surprises out of their first acupuncture visit. I know that when I go to the phone store and they start giving me all sorts of additional charges, I start to get angry. This is why I am totally open about the process that they may need to take! This is the third essential in helping people through their first acupuncture visit.
So if you can address these three essentials, you can successfully help people go through the process of their first acupuncture visits and the benefits that they are hoping to realize and are looking for.
Looking for more help with your health condition? If so, please feel free to call me for a consultation where we can figure out how best to treat your problem. You can reach me at 201-444-7150 or on the email at firstname.lastname@example.org