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Frequently Asked Questions

Initial Consultation

Your first consultation may take longer than subsequent sessions. This is because we need to assess your general state of health in order to identify the underlying patterns of disharmony and give you the most effective treatment.

You will be asked about your current symptoms and what treatment you have received so far, your medical history and that of your close family, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. Once enough information has been gathered to determine the likely causes of your problems, the most appropriate treatment for you will be selected.

How should I prepare for my first visit?

You should try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse. You should also avoid the consumption of alcohol, and food or drinks which colour your tongue, such as coffee, immediately prior to treatment. It is helpful to wear loose , comfortable clothing for your treatment and you should be aware that your acupuncturist may need to access points on your torso as well as your arms and legs.

Is Acupuncture safe? Are there any side effects?

There have been a number of scientific papers published on the safety of acupuncture. These have concluded that acupuncture is safe so long as it is delivered by a properly trained individual. Therefore, we would recommend that you ensure your acupuncturist belongs to a professional organisation.

As acupuncture involves the insertion of needles there will sometimes be a small bruise where the needle was inserted. Occasionally, people can feel dizzy or tired after a treatment, but this passes quickly.

What does Acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to the needles used in injections and blood tests. They are much finer and solid, not hollow. When a needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling, dull ache or a warm feeling. Needles are inserted and left in place for thirty minutes or more, depending on the effect required. During treatment, patients commonly experience a pleasant feeling of relaxation. The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, as well as better appetite and sleep, and an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.

What about the needles used?

We use sterile Acupuncture needles, which are disposed of immediately after use. We follow stringent standards of hygiene and sterilisation.

How will I feel after acupuncture?

You may feel rather relaxed and calm. If the treatment has been particularly strong you could feel quite tired or drowsy for a few hours, and you should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use machinery. Occasionally there may be a short-term flair-up of your symptoms as your qi clears and resettles itself.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as the acupuncturist adjusts the needle to direct qi. While the needles are in place most people feel deeply relaxed which can continue after they are removed.

How long should a session last?

It depends on the condition and your individual response to treatment. Please discuss your condition with a local member, as it is they who would be supervising your treatment. Patients may notice an improvement after the first session or it may take longer. As far as session duration is concerned, most acupuncture sessions will be about 45 minutes long, with the first session taking longer. The first session may also be more expensive.

How many sessions would I need?

In terms of the number of treatments, this would depend on the specifics of your treatment, but after your initial assessment with a practitioner, you can ask them how many sessions they think it will take. At first your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week. You may start to feel benefits after the first or second treatment although long-standing and chronic conditions usually need more time to improve. Once your health has stabilised you may need top-up treatments every few weeks. Traditional acupuncture is also very effective when used as preventive healthcare and many people like to go for a 'returning' session at the change of each season throughout the year.

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