How many treatments will I need?

This depends on what you are looking for acupuncture to help you with and a number of other things such as how long you have had a condition, its severity and how you respond to treatment. A recent acute issue is likely to need fewer treatments that a long term chronic issue. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect and many report improvements after the first few treatments.

It is normal for initial treatments to be weekly with the gap between treatments increased as your body responds, aiming to carry out as few treatments as possible. A course of treatment may typically consist of a number of sessions with many people finding that regular ongoing acupuncture can help maintain good health.

What happens when you come for treatment?

Your initial visit┬átakes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes and consists of a personal and medical consultation covering details of your current complaint/s and any test or investigations that you’ve had, medical history, any relevant family medical history, systems functions (eg. sleep, appetite) and lifestyle. You will also have the opportunity to discuss in complete confidence any concerns or troubles you may currently be dealing with.

After your consultation I may carry out a number of short non-invasive physical diagnostic tests including blood pressure, temperature distribution and pulse taking. In most cases, aside from the most complex, this is then followed by your first treatment. Subsequent appointments take approximately 45-50 minutes, and include discussion of your progress and your treatment to date.

What does it feel like?

Many patients are concerned that acupuncture maybe painful but as the needles are flexible and about as thick as two human hairs there is usually only a very slight sensation as it enters the skin. Sometimes patients also feel a dull ache on the acupuncture point but this also only lasts for a few seconds and is generally not considered to be uncomfortable. Many find acupuncture relaxing and feel very calm during and after a treatment; you may also feel a little tired or sleepy so if possible, try to arrange a relatively restful and quiet day, especially for your first treatment.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments currently on offer in the UK, in fact in 2001 a number of studies concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.  Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are infrequent, mild and self-correcting. To see more information regarding the safety of acupuncture please visit the British Acupuncture Council’s website.