How many appointments 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’ve had a condition, its severity and how you respond to acupuncture. A recent acute issue may need fewer appointments than a long term chronic issue.

Acupuncture has a cumulative effect and while improvements may occasionally be seen in 1 to 2 appointments it’s normal for initial appointments to be weekly. The gap between appointments is typically increased as your body responds to acupuncture with the aim of as few appointments as possible. A course of acupuncture typically consists of 5 or 6 sessions with one session a week. This will be discussed with you and agreed during your initial consultation. Many people find ongoing regular acupuncture beneficial for maintaining good health.

What happens when you come for acupuncture?

Your initial visit¬†consists of a consultation covering details of your current complaint/s, any tests or investigations you’ve had, medical history, any relevant family medical history, systems functions (eg. sleep, appetite) and lifestyle. You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss in complete confidence any concerns 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 acupuncture. Subsequent appointments take just under an hour and include discussion of your progress to date.

What does it feel like?

As acupuncture needles are flexible and about as thick as two human hairs there is usually only a very slight sensation as they enter the skin. Sometimes a dull ache is felt on the acupuncture point which normally 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; you may also feel a little tired or sleepy. If possible try to arrange a relatively restful and quiet time after acupuncture, especially after your first appointment.

Is it safe?

Extensive research has shown that reported adverse events following acupuncture are incredibly rare and that most side effects are mild and pass very quickly.  Serious side-effects following acupuncture are uncommon with research showing that on average only 1 in 10,000 acupuncture appointments results in a significant side effect.

The most common side effects

  • Minor bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Mild pain at the site of needling
  • Sometimes aggravation of symptoms before improvement
  • Drowsiness, tiredness, feeling relaxed
  • Fainting during acupuncture, although this is very rare and usually only on the first appointment

Most people feel pleasantly relaxed and experience no side effects at all.