Frequently asked questions
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is considered a very safe and effective treatment with few side effects. The needles used are single use, sterile and disposable, and I comply with the British Acupuncture Council's Codes of Safe Practice and Professional Conduct.
Will it hurt?
The needles are very fine and the sensation of having acupuncture is gentle, not at all like that of a hypodermic needle, but more like a tingling or a dull ache. During treatment, many people experience a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
What if I'm scared of needles?
You may feel different when you see how fine the needles are, but I can also use acupressure in children or needle phobics.
Is there anything I should do before a treatment?
It would be useful to bring along details of any medication you are currently taking. Ideally, minimal make-up and no perfume will help me make a more accurate diagnosis. Try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment and please avoid alcohol and food/drink that colours your tongue.
What should I wear?
Wearing loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to remove, makes it easier to access the points needed for treatment.
How will I feel after a treatment?
You may feel relaxed and sometimes tired after a treatment. Occasionally slight dizziness may occur. It is best not to drink alcohol that day, and to take things easy to give your body a chance to make the most of each treatment. Occasionally your symptoms may worsen slightly before they start to improve. Rarely, slight bruising may appear at needle sites, but will clear up within a few days.
How many treatments will I need?
Most patients start coming for treatment weekly, and see improvement within 4 - 6 treatments. As treatment progresses, the interval between treatments lengthens to fortnightly and then periodic 'top-ups'. For acute problems, such as acute back pain, fewer treatments but closer together might be more appropriate.
Should I tell my doctor?
You are not obliged to tell your GP but, if you are on prescription medication or regular treatment, it may be a good idea to inform them that you are having acupuncture. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication, but your doctor should always be consulted regarding any change of prescription.
Am I covered by medical insurance?
Some companies cover acupuncture but always check directly with your insurance provider.