How can traditional acupuncture help me?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints to more general feelings of ill health and low energy. To find out more about how traditional acupuncture may help you, please follow the link to research fact sheets on the British Acupuncture Council web site http://www.acupuncture.org.uk or the NHS website.
How many sessions will I need?
The frequency and number of sessions depends on your individual condition and how long you have been troubled by it. Some change is usually felt within 4 – 6 treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments may be sufficient. You may be asked to attend weekly to begin with, some people choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain good health, or top up treatments as and when required.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are not like the needles used for taking blood or injections. Acupuncture needles are are extremely fine; they are about the thickness of a human hair. Patients often describe the needle sensation as a tingling or dull ache. Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing.
What will happen at my first appointment?
I will ask you questions about your current symptoms and general health. I will also take your pulse and look at your tongue. Based on this information I will make a diagnosis and put together a personal treatment plan. I will select acupuncture points according to your symptoms. Once the needles are inserted you will be left to relax for about 20 minutes after which the needles are removed. It is advisable not to have treatment on an empty stomach or after a heavy meal, and to avoid alcohol before an acupuncture treatment. Some acupuncture points are located on the lower arm and legs, so it is helpful to wear loose fitting clothing, which can be rolled up. Please allow 1 ½ hours for your initial consultation and treatment.
How will I feel after a treatment?
Most patients feel extremely relaxed after their treatment.
Are there any unpleasant side effects?
Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects. Occasionally there may be minor bruising at the needle point.
Should I tell my doctor that I’m having acupuncture?
If you are currently receiving treatment from your doctor it is sensible to mention that you plan to have acupuncture. Your acupuncturist will need to know about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.
Should I still take my prescribed medication while I’m having a course of acupuncture?
Yes. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication but you should always consult your doctor regarding any change of prescription. DO NOT stop taking medication without professional guidance.
Private medical insurance – will it cover the cost of my treatment?
As the demand for complementary medicine increases more private health insurance companies are beginning to offer cover for traditional acupuncture. You should check your individual policy details.