Treatment - What to Expect
Before treatment - It is best to wear loose comfortable clothing and remove as much jewelry as possible before coming. Needles are inserted into acupuncture points which can be almost anywhere on the body.
The consultation - Your first visit is called a consultation and this will last approximately 1 ½ hours. The consultation consists of two parts. During the first part, lasting ¾ hours, you will be asked about your symptoms, medical history, diet and lifestyle etc. Your pulse, tongue and abdomen will then be checked in order to make a complete diagnosis. By the end of this session a comprehensive picture of your state of health is formed which will direct the way that treatment is carried out. Immediately following this, your first acupuncture session is carried out - this will last a further ¾ hours.
The treatment - Normal treatments last ¾ hours.
The effects of acupuncture are immediate - they can be felt in many ways:
- If you have obvious symptoms then these can frequently be felt to improve whilst you are being treated.
- some people feel the effects of the needles travelling to other parts of the body.
- sometimes a warmth or mild tingling is felt spreading out from the acupuncture point being treated.
- a deep sense of relaxation is felt in many cases.
Of course sometimes with more complicated and longstanding problems the effects are not always noticeable to the patient straight away. However, with good treatment, objective improvements can always be detected by the acupuncturist:
- complexion improves, breathing deepens.
- cold areas warm up (eg cold feet or lower abdomen or back.
- weak, soft areas on the body, strengthen and tension dissipates.
- the pulse improves in rhythm, rate, strength and becomes more balanced.
At each visit you will be asked how your symptoms have changed. Your abdominal, pulse and tongue readings may also be re-assessed to see how you have progressed. You will then be given acupuncture and monitored at each stage to assess the changes occuring in your body.
The acupuncture is carried out using fine needles placed to a few millimetres depth beneath the skin.
Some people feel nothing after insertion, others feel a heaviness, tingling or warmth which may extend out from the needle. Some needles may be left in place for up to 30 mins. Most people find this period very relaxing. During this time I always remain with the patient.
After treatment - Often there are some immediate changes in symptoms but with long standing problems the results of acupuncture can take more time to see. You will probably feel more relaxed after treatment and it is recommended that care be taken travelling home. It is also wise to abstain from alcohol immediately after treatment and try to drink an extra glass or two of water.
After a course of treatment - Acupuncture helps you to achieve a better state of balance. This improved state of equilibrium, will be felt by you, in a variety of ways. Your general sense of well-being will improve, you may start to sleep better, feel calmer and notice increased energy levels. Your main symptoms should be eliminated or notably less bothersome and furthermore you may find other long standing problems begin to improve
How many treatments will I need? - Normally, especially with chronic conditions, repeated treatment is needed to reinforce and stabilise the effects of acupuncture so that you do not continually regress. Acupuncture is normally given on a weekly basis to start with and the length of a course of treatment varies from person to person. After a period of regular treatment (usually anything from 6 to 12 weeks) you will probably reach a stage where the effects of treatment are holding and you feel substantially better. At this stage it is possible to either cease or reduce the frequency of acupuncture.