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 in a treatment?
The first appointment will involve many questions about your lifestyle, past and current medical history and emotions. In order to make a diagnosis and devise your individual treatment plan, I will also look at your tongue and take your pulse.
Does it hurt?
This is highly subjective. Some people feel the needles immediately but others hardly feel them at all. It’s nothing like giving blood. Usually you’ll feel a dull ache (like an old bruise), tingling or an electric sensation. If you do feel discomfort it’s usually mild and will ease quickly.
You will be given information as to how you may feel after treatment but most people tend to feel relaxed and calm.
How many treatments will I need?
Frequency and number of sessions depend on your individual condition. It is normal to need to see you once or twice a week at first with some change usually felt within five or six treatments. Occasionally, just one or two treatments are sufficient.
Often, people choose to have regular sessions of acupuncture to maintain good health but many people return to acupuncture again and again simply because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.
Will my acupuncturist talk about anything else?
Your acupuncturist is likely to suggest ways in which you can enhance the long-term effects of your treatment. This may involve making changes to your diet and daily routine. If necessary you will be referred to other healthcare practitioners for specialist care.
What happens afterwards?
Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment.
You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment.
Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Cupping and guasha can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.