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Q: Who has acupuncture?

A: Many people come for acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose it as a way of maintaining health before illness develops. It is suitable for all ages and can be used alongside conventional medicine.

Q: What happens at the initial consultation?

A: At the first consultation, which typically takes 1.5-2 hours, I will take a full case history from you. This will include treatment for current symptoms, medical history, diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state.  I will also take your pulses and look at your tongue. Then follow with an acupuncture treatment based on your individual needs.  Following the treatment, I will take your pulses again and note any changes.

Q: What happens at a follow-up session?

A: A regular, follow-up session typically takes up to 1 hour. I will spend some time discussing progress and changes since the last session.  I will take your pulses and look at your tongue before starting the acupuncture treatment.  Following the treatment, I will take your pulses again and note any changes.

Q: What does it feel like?

A: Acupuncture needles are solid needles which are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling, numbness or dull ache in the area. It shouldn't be at all painful. The needles are usually left in for up to 20 mins or taken straight out, depending on what the aim of the treatment is.

Q: How many sessions will I need?

A: The number of treatments required will depend on the individual and the condition being treated.  Some change is usually noticed after 4-6 weekly sessions, although sometimes only one or two sessions maybe required. This will be assessed during the initial consultation and after each subsequent treatment to ensure your individual needs are met.

Q: Is it safe?

Acupuncture is safe when carried out by a qualified practitioner. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. You may feel relaxed and calm after treatment and sometimes patients can feel tired or drowsy. However all reactions are short lived and will disappear within a day or so. Many people find that as well as alleviating their symptoms they came for originally, they also have more energy, better sleep and better sense of well-being, generally.

Q: Do I need to let my doctor know?

It makes sense to let your doctor know you are having acupuncture and always tell your acupuncturist about any medicines you are taking.