Frequently Asked Questions
Can acupuncture help me?
China and other eastern countries have been studying the causes of disharmony in mind and body, and using acupuncture to restore and promote health to both, for over two thousand years.
Acupuncture treats you as an individual, and uses minimal intervention, and seeks the origin of disharmony at its root. It is established as safe and highly effective, and is increasingly validated by modern research.
How does it work?
Acupuncture uses tiny needles to stimulate the bodies physiological processes, to move blood and fluid and help the body clear any obstructions that disrupt these.
It balances the autonomic nervous system, calming down the 'sympathetic' or 'fight or flight' responses and promotes the 'parasympathetic' healing mechanisms by stimulating the production of endorphins and serotonin - chemicals in the brain that are responsible for well-being and happiness.
Are the needles safe?
All acupuncture needles are single-use and sterile.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin (0.2 mm) and treatment usually requires four or five points to be needled. The sensation is often described as a 'tingling' or 'a dull ache' and some points you won't even feel.
Once inserted a few millimetres into the skin the needles is often rotated to obtained a slight sensation called 'deqi' translated as 'obtaining the qi'. This gently encourages a connection between your body and the needles.
Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and even fall asleep.
Do I need to be unwell to benefit from treatment?
It has been studied and used for centuries in China and the East to maintain vitality and to promote good health. Acupuncture uses specific points in your body to strengthen weak areas within your circulation and points that help your body clear blockages and obstruction. This optimises health, correcting imbalance, even before they have a chance to develop into symptoms. As a result, it is an excellent form of preventative as well as restorative healthcare.
When do you advise me to have treatment?
When used well acupuncture may be prescribed as little as three or four times a year.
If you have symptoms, treatment is recommended regularly - probably every 1 - 2 weeks, until health has been restored. Once your symptoms have improved we recommend 'top-ups' from time-to-time to help keep you well.
What happens in a treatment?
Diagnosis is made from a combination of talking to you, body diagnosis and from taking your pulse. Body diagnosis is non-invasive and includes examining your tongue, checking your abdomen, face and limbs. Once inserted the needles will be left in for about 20 minutes. Treatment may be supplemented with ‘moxa’ (a smouldering herb that adds warmth), massage or suction cups.
Initial Consultations (80 mins)
During this time we will discuss the reasons you would like to have acupuncture, go over any relevant medical history and do a thorough diagnosis from a Chinese medical perspective. All the information given is confidential and will be combined with the Chinese medical diagnosis to work out the correct treatment for you. This normally takes 30-40 mins after which you will receive your first treatment.
Follow-on Sessions (40 mins)
During this time we will check on how you are progressing and discuss any changes that you are experiencing. Each session we will check our diagnosis by examining your tongue and feeling your pulse, and combine this with what you tell us, to adjust, if necessary, the treatment course.
How much treatment will I need?
We generally recommend treatment about every 1 - 2 weeks, while you have symptoms you’d like to improve, and then ‘top ups’ from time to time to help you stay healthy.
Please be aware that ‘acute’ conditions may need treatment closer together and that ‘chronic’ conditions can take longer and, as we get older, may respond more slowly.
Why is there a cancellation policy?
Our policy is that appointments that are missed, or cancelled with less than 24 hrs notice, are charged at a slightly reduced rate. This rate reflects the need to charge for missed appointments but aims to not be too punitive.
When you book an appointment that time is set aside for you and cannot be used by anyone else. We therefore operate this policy, as 24 hrs is the minimum time it takes to get hold of patients on our waiting list and fill appointments that become available.
This charge covers the ongoing costs of keeping the clinic running. These costs are high and we cannot afford to have people booking and then not turning up to their appointments.
Am I covered by my health insurance?
Many health policies include acupuncture treatment. To find out if yours does, speak to your health insurer directly, contact the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) or email us.