As acupuncturists we can offer our patients something that western medicine cannot. Time. Patients need time to tell their stories, share their concerns, and reveal buried feelings. Sometimes I think that the safe space and the unhurried environment that we create for patients to pause and reflect about their lives is as healing as the acupuncture treatment itself.
So what happens when patients need more time than their allotted appointment? You have a schedule to keep and patients waiting, but the priority is always the safety of your patient. A little planning ahead can help you assure your patient's well being and keep you on schedule.
Probably the most difficult acupuncture treatment side effect to deal with from a time management perspective is the Emotional Break Through. Ironically, this is also the what many patients need for their healing (and what acupuncture has led them to experience), so you want to be able to gently but firmly facilitate the process.
What any patient needs when they are experiencing unusual side effects is reassurance, clear instructions, and appropriate resources. Here are some tips and guidance to help you effectively manage some of the most common acupuncture treatment side effects.
Emotional Break Through:
Acupuncture is great at helping to heal and release emotional issues. So what happens when a patient has an incredible breakthrough during or following your terrific treatment? Not only is it unsafe for them to drive, but they may need some help in understanding what is happening. You are their practitioner and need to give them reassurance, instructions, and resources so that they understand this is a "healing response" to the acupuncture treatment.
Bleeding / Bruising
whether it is a life altering emotional breakthrough, dizziness and disorientation (low blood sugar?), or itching or bruising at acupuncture points, is reassurance, instructions, and resources.