Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that involves pricking the skin with fine needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West.

Here are some things to expect from your acupuncture treatment with our team at Salt Water Sport and Spa!

Will it hurt?

One of the most common questions asked by first time acupuncture clients is, “Does it hurt?” Many people assume that acupuncture will be uncomfortable. Acupuncture needles are fine and thin, some being 25-50 times thinner than hypodermic needles, and virtually painless. When asked to describe their experience, first time acupuncture clients often describe the treatment as being pleasurable and relaxing, most people even fall asleep during treatment!

First Session

During your first acupuncture session our acupuncturist will assess your general health. The assessment will include questions relating to your current symptoms, past treatments, patient and family medical history, diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional health. As each treatment is unique to the individual, this will facilitate the most effective treatment for each patient.  As part of the diagnosis, the practitioner may assess the structure, colour and coating of your tongue depending on your health concerns.

Dietary and other recommendations will be discussed at appropriate times throughout the treatment.

How long will treatment take?

The first treatment will last for 90 minutes, subsequent treatments will last for approximately 60 minutes.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments required varies depending on patient condition and the severity of the concern being addressed. Chronic problems generally require more treatment than acute problems. Some patients notice an immediate improvement, while others may not notice an effect until they undergo several treatments. The acupuncturist will discuss their recommendation of frequency and number of treatments you may need.

Combining acupuncture with other treatments

When acupuncture is used with other forms of medical treatment, acupuncture offsets some of the unpleasant side effects of western treatment, such as those seen with prescription medication, chemotherapy, radiation and steroid use. 

Preparing for your treatment

  • Avoid brushing your teeth and tongue prior to treatment. Also, try not to consume beverages that may stain your tongue, such as coffee, gum and candies. A proper tongue diagnosis can be very important as it leads to cues of possible imbalances.
  • Do not show up for a treatment with an empty stomach, we recommend a light meal at least 2 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Do not consume alcoholic beverages before or after treatment
  • Remove all jewelry. This will help the acupuncturist in administering treatment.
  • Acupuncture appointments are 60-90 minutes long so it is important to use the bathroom prior to treatment.
  • Be honest with your acupuncturist when answering questions. All answers are confidential and aide in the diagnosis and treatment.
  • It is important to relax during your treatment. You will benefit most if you allow your mind and body to relax.

Post treatment

  • After the treatment be sure to rest and relax for the remainder of the day. Do not participate in vigorous exercise or strenuous activities.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages before and after treatment.
  • Be prepared to see some slight bruising post treatment.
  • There are usually no side effects from the treatment aside from slight bruising. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are re-balanced and stimulated, and healing begins to take place. Occasionally, the original symptoms may worsen for a few days. 
  • Changes in sleep, appetite, bowel, urination or emotional state may be triggered; however, these symptoms simply indicate that acupuncture is starting to work.


When performed by a professionally trained and licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is a very safe treatment with minimal side effects. The possible, but very rare and unlikely risks include; puncture of internal organs, fainting, infection and bruising. Your treatment risks will be explained by the practitioner prior to treatment.

Our goal at Salt Water Sport and Spa is to provide a relaxing, stress free and safe environment for our clients. Our knowledgeable staff are here to answer any questions you may have about acupuncture or any of the other services we offer! We look forward to seeing you at our spa soon!