Q. Is acupuncture painful? A. Acupuncture involves inserting a needle as fine as a strand of horse hair into the skin. The process in which the needle is inserted is rarely painful, however when the needle reaches the correct depth and connects with the person's energy then the patient may feel sensations such as a dull ache, a tingling or a radiating sensation. This sensation can feel a little uncomfortable at times but is rarely unbearable.
Q. How many treatments will I need? A. This very much varies depending on the condition and on a personal level. However, we usually say that a patient should expect to have at least 4 treatments to see a change in their health. Occasionally one treatment may be all a person needs but more often 6 to 8 treatments should see a marked change in health, especially if the condition is chronic and has been around for a long time.
Q. How frequently will I need treatment? A. Again this very much depends on the individual, however treatment tends to be carried out weekly until the patient sees a good response to treatment. We will monitor the health during each treatment and move the treatments to fortnightly if we both feel that the condition is improving. These will then be spread to monthly treatments until the patient feels they no longer need treatment. It is advised that patients do continue treatment on a quarterly basis or to arrange "top up" treatments when needed to ensure their good health continues.
Q. Is it safe? A. Acupuncture practised by a properly trained practitioner is a very safe therapy. Serious side effects from the treatment itself are very rare - less that one per 10,000 treatments. www.acupuncture.org.uk
Q. Does acupuncture have side effects? A. Very occasionally one or more of the following may occur:
drowsiness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients, and, if affected, you are advised not to drive
minor bleeding or bruising occurs after treatment in about 3% of treatments
pain during treatment occurs in about 1% of treatments
existing symptoms can get worse after treatment (less than 3% of patients)
Q. Are the needles sterile? A. Yes. All needles come individually wrapped in sterile packaging. They are all single use needles and disposed of after every use.
Q. Is it confidential? A. Yes. Acupuncturists who are members of the British Acupuncture Council such as myself, are bound by a very strict patient confidentiality policy and can only divulge information if we feel the patient is a threat to themselves or the public. Any information that is given during treatment will remain in the strictest confidence.
Q. Will I need to take my clothes off? A. There are 365 acupuncture points all over the body and although we often use points on the arms and legs, we will also need to access other parts of the body usually on the abdomen, chest and back. Patients will be provided with a gown to change into and can leave their underwear on. For patients who do not want certain areas of their bodies exposed, we can usually look at using alternative points.
Q. Can acupuncture help me? A. Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions. Even if a person feels completely healthy acupuncture can be said to bring about a sense of wellbeing and to simply feel better within themselves. For more information on whether acupuncture is beneficial for your particular condition please visit www.acupuncture.org.uk
If the answer to your question is not listed, please feel free to get in touch by phone or using the contact page.