How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
No special preparation is required before acupuncture treatment.
Choosing a practitioner
If you're considering acupuncture, do the same things you would do if you were choosing a doctor:
- Ask people you trust for recommendations.
- Check the practitioner's training and credentials. Most states require that nonphysician acupuncturists pass an exam conducted by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
- Interview the practitioner. Ask what's involved in the treatment, how likely it is to help your condition and how much it will cost.
- Find out whether the expense is covered by your insurance.
Don't be afraid to tell your doctor you're considering acupuncture. He or she may be able to tell you about the success rate of using acupuncture for your condition or recommend an acupuncture practitioner for you to try.
- Acupuncture for pain. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm. Accessed Nov. 21, 2011.
- Acupuncture. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Ahn AC. Acupuncture. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 21, 2011.
- Bauer BA. Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2007:106.
- Mao JJ, et al. Acupuncture in primary Care. Primary Care Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:105.
- Barrows K. Acupuncture. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2010. 50th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Acupuncture. North American Spine Society. http://www.knowyourback.org/Pages/Treatments/AlternativeMedicine/Acupuncture.aspx. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- AskMayoExpert. What happens during an acupuncture session? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2011.
- Martin DP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 5, 2011.