Frequently Asked Questions
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture should never be painful. Most people find acupuncture very comfortable. Sensation, if present at all is very mild. I have adopted the use of particularly fine, top quality needles together with only mild stimulation techniques as is common in many Japanese styles of Acupuncture.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe form of therapy when carried out by appropriately trained practitioners. As British Acupuncture Council members, we are bound by a Code of Safe Practise, approved by the Department of Health, defining hygiene and safety standards.
Can I claim acupuncture on my health insurance policy?
You will need to check with your provider. Most major schemes, such as Westfield, will reimburse, when acupuncture is given by a British Acupuncture Council member.
How many treatments will I need?
Response to treatment varies from person to person. In general the longer that you have had a problem (the more chronic) then the longer it will take to treat. Acute problems (recent onset) will generally respond more quickly. For instance: a patient with pain in the shoulder after wrenching it 1 month ago may need as few as 2 or 3 sessions whereas a patient who has had backache for the last 10 years will more than likely need at least 10 –12 sessions (although they might start to feel the benefits after the first treatment or two). It is also normal for very deficient people, e.g. those who may be very run down through long stress or illness, to take longer to recover.
How often should I come for treatment?
Most people come on a weekly basis to start with, then later on when feeling well enough, may reduce their visits to fortnightly, monthly, yearly or whatever suits. For some people twice a week is better for the initial few appointments if they can manage it.
Is it all-right to have acupuncture when I am on medication?
This is, generally speaking, not a problem. You will always be asked about your medication on your first visit. Acupuncture will often help to ameliorate the side effects of your medication but does not interfere with it. If you are currently having medical treatment then it makes sense to tell your doctor, most will be happy for you to try acupuncture.
What about acupuncture needles?
All needles are pre-sterilised and pre-packaged. They are used only once and then disposed of. The needles that I use are a fraction of a millimetre in diameter (typically 0.12 to 0.22mm) and they are of top quality allowing for easy insertion. The needles are made of solid stainless steel –nothing is injected – and tiny by comparison to anything you might have experienced at hospital.
What if I am on a limited budget?
For those on a limited budget or who need a lot of treatment, self acupressure can be taught. Acupressure, when used dilligently, is a very powerful tool and can help to cut down your overall number of visits to the acupuncturist. In addition to this, dietary and other life style advice may be given.