Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during and after acupuncture treatment?

During the first session we will begin by focusing on the reasons that brought you to acupuncture, whether a specific set of symptoms, particular diagnosed condition or a vague sense of feeling out of balance.

We will then explore other aspects of your health – now and in the past (such as sleep patterns, digestion, presence of aches and pains in your body, energy level, etc), your diet and lifestyle, work situation, relationship and family circumstances and your medical and family history. I will also ask you about the main events in your life and how they affected, or still affect, you emotionally.

d1f3236c38dc76b3ac7130e7be19f464Your answers will help me build a picture of the prevailing energetic imbalances in your body. After our conversation, I will ask you to undress to your underwear and lie down on the treatment couch covered with a blanket. I will then spend some time feeling your pulse (on both wrists) and examining your tongue.

Taking all this information into consideration, I will then form a diagnosis of the disharmonies and select appropriate points to be needled and/or warmed with moxa. Acupuncture points used can be anywhere on the body (with the exception of breast tissue on women and genitalia) and may be some distance away from the part of the body where you experience the problem.
Some needles may be manipulated and left in place for 10 – 25 minutes, whilst others may be removed immediately after insertion.

c72717ff1db63e1a3fbe538af7d1a8b6Sometimes, points are stimulated by smouldering moxa (herb Artemisia vulgaris) which is applied directly to the skin or held above it.
The initial session, including the questioning and the treatment, takes 1½ hours. Subsequent treatments will take up to 45 minutes.
After the treatment you may feel very relaxed or even sleepy, and it is generally better to avoid strenuous exercise or drinking alcohol afterwards.

How often will I need to come for treatment?

The number of treatments needed will, of course, depend on your general state of health (or ill-health) and severity and duration of your problem. Each person will respond at their own pace.

Some patients respond to acupuncture immediately, but usually, a course of 4 to 5 weekly sessions is needed to allow for the healing response to begin. As soon as the benefits are experienced and maintained, the treatments can become less frequent (fortnightly or monthly). Patients with chronic conditions may need treatment over several months or longer. After consistent improvement is felt, most patients continue with regular sessions at a frequency that suits their state of health and lifestyle, to maintain the benefits.

Are acupuncture needles sterile?

Acupuncture needles are single-use, pre-sterilised and disposable.

Does acupuncture hurt?

needle-paperclip_72ppi_A6_050Acupuncture needles are very fine - much finer than needles used for injections or blood tests. Their insertion should never cause pain, although some patients feel a dull ache, warmth or a tingling sensation lasting no more than a few seconds.

Confidentiality

All information shared by the patient and recorded in the treatment notes is treated as confidential. You are welcome to view your treatment notes at any time should you wish to do so.

Referral to other health practitioners

Whenever appropriate, I may recommend consulting your GP for further investigations or a practitioner of another complementary discipline (for example, a herbalist, homeopath or an osteopath). Acupuncture works very well alongside both conventional medical treatments as well as other complementary therapies.

British Acupuncture Council

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is a registering body for professional acupuncturists. Their aim is to ensure the health and safety of the public at all times. They do this by maintaining high standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice. Acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council carry the letters MBAcC after their name.

Members_logoBAcC ensures that each member:

  • has completed a first degree level training in traditional acupuncture including appropriate elements of western medical sciences (such as anatomy and physiology), or its equivalent
  • abides by the Council’s Code of Safe Practice and Code of Professional Conduct
  • complies with current health and safety legislation
  • is covered by full Professional Indemnity and Public/Products Liability insurance
  • updates their practice skills by following an individual programme of mandatory continuing professional development.

You can get more information about BAcC by visiting their website www.acupuncture.org.uk