Can acupuncture help with my symptoms?
The answer is probably, yes. People turn to acupuncture for a wide range of conditions, often things that we have learned to live with. It is widely accepted that acupuncture is beneficial for tension headaches, migraines, chronic lower back pain, TMJ (jaw) pain, osteoarthritic knee pain…. here is a list of other conditions known respond well to acupuncture.
What will happen during my first appointment?
During your first visit I will ask questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion and your emotional wellbeing. You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps me to form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle. I will also take your pulse on both wrists and may examine your tongue and feel for areas of muscular tension or pain. You will usually have your first acupuncture treatment in this initial session.
What shall I wear?
Wear loose fitting clothing that will roll up to your knees or elbows or bring something to change into. Don’t worry if you forget, we have plenty of towels and blankets if you have to come from work, for example, and need to remove any tight fitting or easily crumpled clothing.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
A list of medications is useful, or a copy of your prescription.
Should I eat before a treatment?
Definitely, don’t come on an empty stomach!
Does acupuncture hurt?
No. There is definitely a sensation to be felt on most points; we call this “getting the qi or energy of the point.” A dull ache or pulling sensation is usually how it’s described but this wears off in a few seconds.
How many sessions will I need?
It depends!! There are a number of factors to consider when answering this question including the nature of the condition as well as how deep or longstanding it is. Most people have a treatment weekly until a noticeable improvement is made, when treatments will be gradually spaced over longer periods. Often a noticeable improvement is made within 3-5 treatments. Some conditions, such as those related to periods or fertility require longer to see results. Some musculoskeletal conditions can improve greatly with 1 or 2 treatments. Remember acupuncturists treat the person not the condition, so each persons’ needs and treatment plan will be different.
Are there side effects?
Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. 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 after your treatment. You might have a little bruise where some of the needles have been: this doesn’t happen often and is nothing to worry about.
How much does it cost?
The costs can be found here.
Can I claim for acupuncture on my health insurance?
Yes. As long as your acupuncturist is registered with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) you can claim with most health insurers. You can check here.