It is helpful if no perfumed products are worn. For an initial consultation and treatment it is best to allow up to 90-120mins – a prior phone consultation can help to reduce this. Follow up appointments are 45mins – 1 hour.
You should not come for treatment without having eaten but nor should you have a heavy meal immediately before or afterwards.
Fine needles (typically 0.20-0.25mm diameter) will be used to tonify or reduce, as appropriate, depending on the nature of the condition being treated.
The feeling that arises from acupuncture varies but it can often be described as very relaxing yet energising, sometimes patients fall asleep.
Normally needle insertion is virtually painless but that does depend on which points are used. There may be a dull ache, tingling, pulling, or grabbing sensation once the needles are in place and make contact with the appropriate body tissue. They are normally left in place for up to 40mins.
For musculo skeletal issues I will often use a hand held TENS type device to stimulate the needles & the affected muscle(s).
All needles are sterile for single use only and are only opened in your presence. Treatment can sometimes cause initial reactions such as tiredness or mild dizziness, so care must be taken if driving or operating heavy machinery immediately afterwards.
Occasionally there may be minor bruising. These reactions are normally short lived.
In trained hands acupuncture is a very safe treatment. I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), this is the main regulatory body for Traditional Acupuncture in the UK. The BAcC sets the standards of practice for its members to follow in terms of education, ethics and professional conduct. My membership of the BAcC provides me with appropriate professional insurance with cover up to £5million for medical malpractice and public/products liability.
Should my doctor know?
Since acupuncture can change your need for prescribed medication, I recommend that you let your doctor know that you are having treatment. It is helpful to know what medication you are taking (if any) as it may affect the treatment you will be given and how you respond to it.
Acupuncture generally works well alongside western medicine but any alteration to your prescription medication should only be undertaken in consultation with your doctor.