Who has acupuncture?
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.
What happens when I go for treatment?
When you arrive for your first appointment, I will use a number of different diagnostic methods to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, including taking a full medical history, reading your pulses, and looking at your tongue. Based on this information, I will make a diagnosis, and with comprehensive knowledge and additional research will compile your personal treatment plan. Acupuncture points are selected according to your symptoms as well as your underlying energy pattern.Other techniques such as cupping, tui na or qi gong may also be recommended and undertaken, with informed consent.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling sensation or dull ache.
Is it safe?
The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ September 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. The needles used are single-use, sterile, and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.
Should my doctor know?
If you have been prescribed medication I recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell me about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. As a BAcC acupuncturist, I am trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and may refer you to your GP, if appropriate.
How many sessions will I need?
Frequency and number of sessions depend on your individual condition. I may ask to see you once or twice a week at first. Some change is usually felt within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient. Some people choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain good health.
What can it do for me?
Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or simply to improve their general sense of wellbeing.
Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of conditions.
Don’t forget, I treat the person, not just the condition, so each patient’s treatment plan will be different. However, please ask about other patients’ experiences, to give you an idea of what to expect. Many people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.