Do I need to do anything before treatment?
Wear loose clothing, try not to eat anything heavy within an hour of your appointment or anything that may colour your tongue e.g. tea or coffee.
What happens during my acupuncture session?
Your first consultation will be longer than subsequent visits as the acupuncturist needs to assess your current state of health in order to identify the underlying pattern of disharmony and thus give the most effective treatment.
You will be asked to describe your current condition and symptoms, your medical history and current medication, family medical history to assess hereditary weaknesses, your diet, emotional state, sleep patterns and if female details of menstrual cycle.
As an aid to diagnosis and to further show how Qi is flowing, your radial pulse on both wrists is felt and rhythm, quality and strength is noted.
Your tongue’s structure, colour and coat will also be checked as these are a good guide to physical health.
After consultation, your acupuncturist will select the most appropriate treatment and points. Needling may take place on arms, legs, hands, feet, abdomen, torso, back or head therefore it is advisable to wear loose clothing although in some instances clothing may need removing. Usually 10 or 12 points will be used in each treatment. Acupuncture points may be additionally stimulated with the use of moxa (a smouldering herb – mugwort – that warms acupuncture points and stimulates the flow of Qi), an electro-acupuncture machine, cupping, auricular acupuncture or ear seeds.
Dietary or lifestyle advice maybe provided recommending what foods would best help the patient or for example, advice given on types of exercise to help ease pain relief.
At subsequent consultations, you will be asked for an update on your presenting condition and symptoms and what effect the previous treatment had. It is quite usual that during a course of treatment different points will be selected as the patient’s condition changes.
Treatment frequency varies according to complaint and person. Sometimes the effect is dramatic after one or two treatments but generally, the effects are subtle and may take many months. Normally, a course of 4-6 treatments is recommended whereby you should notice a change either in yourself generally or in presenting condition.
All consultations are confidential and tailored to meet your specific needs.
Is Acupuncture painful and how will I feel after treatment?
It is neither painless nor very painful. The sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache. Everyone is different and therefore may feel this stronger or weaker than others may. Unlike needles used in injections, acupuncture needles are very fine therefore; the level of pain is much less. You may also experience heaviness in the limbs as well as a deep feeling of relaxation. After treatment you usually feel calm, relaxed and in some cases tired. If there is a short term flare up in your symptoms this may be due to Qi clearing before settling again and should not worry you.
Is acupuncture safe?
As a member of the British Acupuncture Council, your practitioner has undergone extensive training in acupuncture and bio medical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture in the UK. Codes of Safe Practice, Ethics and Disciplinary Procedures, approved by the Department of Health, ensure professionalism and safety. Members are covered by full Medical Malpractice and Public / Products Liability Insurance.
All needles are pre-sterilised, single use and disposable to provide protection against infectious disease.
Is acupuncture regulated by the government?
The Department of Health has put forward proposals for statutory regulation of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Should I tell my doctor I am receiving treatment for acupuncture?
If you are already receiving treatment from your doctor then it makes sense to tell him or her about your plans to have acupuncture. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication. You should never stop prescribed medication without consultation with your doctor. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to acupuncture treatment.