HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture works by helping to restore balance to an individual's qi (life-force, energy) by inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body. Qi can become blocked, depleted or disturbed by physical and mental illness, injury, age and other factors. By directing the flow of qi, acupuncture supports your own body’s ability to heal itself. Acupuncture is designed to affect your whole being, so patients often experience an improvement in other health problems and an increased sense of wellbeing.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
The risk of adverse effects from acupuncture is very low when delivered by properly trained and qualified acupuncturists. The use of fine needles means there may occasionally be a small bruise where the needle was inserted. Some patients can feel dizzy or tired after a treatment, but this usually passes quickly. I will ask you about medications and supplements that you are taking, such as anti-coagulants. If I have any serious concerns about your health, I will refer you to see your GP.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY FIRST TREATMENT?
Your first consultation and treatment will normally last around 1.5 hours. I will take a full medical history and ask you about your symptoms, lifestyle and overall state of health. I will then conduct a body diagnosis, look at your tongue and read your pulses. This enables me to select a combination of points tailored to you and your individual needs. The single-use acupuncture needles are very fine, so most patients do not experience any discomfort. However, once they have been inserted it is normal to feel a tingle or dull ache as the qi starts to respond. Needles will be left in for around 20 minutes, during which patients usually feel very relaxed.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments depends on your condition and how you respond to the first treatment. A course of follow-up treatments may be recommended after the first consultation. The frequency is usually reduced as symptoms improve, although chronic conditions may take longer. Some patients use acupuncture as a preventative treatment and find it helps to maintain their health and wellbeing throughout the year, especially at the change of seasons.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST TREATMENT?
Set aside an hour or so before your appointment and avoid caffeine to ensure you are as relaxed as possible during the treatment. Please bring a list of all current medications and supplements. Loose-fitting clothes will make it easier for me to access the acupuncture points to insert the needles.