Without really knowing what acupuncture is, it’s kind of hard to understand why people would voluntarily subject themselves to being poked with a bunch of long needles (for extended periods of time at that). So we sought out Ro Giuliano, a licensed acupuncturist at Maha Rose Center for Healing in New York, to walk us through six things that might happen if you get acupuncture. And you can judge for yourself if you think it’s worth it.

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You Might Feel More Relaxed

The goal of acupuncture is to get optimal flow of qi (simply translated to your “life energy”) and blood circulation throughout the different meridians, or pathways, in your body, says Giuliano. By doing so, it stimulates various physiological systems and promotes self-healing all over. One of the first things you might experience is a sense of calm directly following the treatment.

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Or You Might Feel More Energized

Acupuncture can also stimulate the brain to produce feel-good endorphins and serotonin—which for some people translates to that aforementioned feeling of calm and, for others, gives them a boost in mood and energy.

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You Might Feel Hungry

With qi flowing smoothly through your body, it might send signals for nourishment to aid the healing process, says Giuliano. This results in an increase in appetite. And though you’ll probably want to inhale a giant burger, she suggests loading up on lots of fruits, vegetables and lean protein instead. 

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And You Might Be Thirsty

All of the internal movements and the increase in circulation throughout your body can cause you to crave more water. Upping your intake will assist your detox and healing process (so that other, ahem, functions can get moving as well).

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You Might Feel Relieved of Pain

After an acupuncture session, studies have shown that your body’s opioid receptions are more receptive to the types of naturally occurring painkillers and chemicals that help to alleviate any muscle tension or discomfort. But depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need a series of sessions to treat them for good.

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Or You Might Not Feel Anything At All

Again, depending on your symptoms, it could take a few sessions before you notice or feel any palpable difference. Many times the changes are slow and subtle—especially during the initial stages of treatment. The most important thing is to just listen to your body and go with the flow (pun absolutely intended).

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