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FAQ

What is traditional acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a tried and tested holistic system of traditional medicine, originally developed in the orient and used in many eastern cultures for thousands of years, to restore and maintain good health.

It is now accepted all over the world as a valid system of healthcare. In the UK , there are over 3,000 qualified acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council.

Who is it suitable for?

Many people come for acupuncture for help with specific conditions or symptoms. Others come because they want to increase their overall energy levels, to strengthen their constitution or to improve their sense of wellbeing.

Acupuncture can be of particular help to people at certain times in their lives, such as during times of change or stress, through the menopause or pregnancy. As a gentle holistic treatment, it is suitable for all ages, including babies and children, and can be safely used alongside conventional medicine.

What happens when I come for treatment?

The first appointment will be longer than usual – up to 1 ½ hours. You will be asked about your health history in detail and about your sleep, appetite, medication and so on. Subsequent appointments are usually around 45 minutes.

The acupuncturist will check the pulses on both wrists and also look at your tongue, all of which give valuable diagnostic information. You may also be given a short physical examination at the first appointment.

The treatment plan will then be discussed with you and your consent sought for the proposed treatment. The acupuncture points and any other treatment selected will be based on this plan.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very fine and insertion does not usually hurt. Sensations described as tugging or pulling, pins and needles or a dull ache, may be felt as the needles are manipulated, which pass after a few seconds.

Needles may be retained for up to 20 minutes or longer if necessary, or they may be inserted and removed quickly, as required by the treatment plan.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture has a long track record and treatment is very safe. Needles are single-use, sterile and disposable.

All British Acupuncture Council members abide by a very strict code of conduct and are fully insured.

Acupuncture premises and practitioners are also required to be registered with their local authority and follow their byelaws with regard to health and safety.

How many sessions will I need?

The number and frequency of appointments will depend on the diagnosis and treatment plan agreed with you. Typically, you will be seen weekly for the first 3 or 4 treatments and the plan will then be reviewed. It may take a few treatments before any change is felt, although occasionally people will feel better sooner.

Some patients require long term treatment. Others decide to continue to have regular maintenance treatment once their main complaint has been resolved, maybe once a month or seasonally.