What does it involve?
We will begin with an initial consultation where I’ll assess your main problem, and your general state of health in order to identify the underlying patterns of disharmony, and ensure you receive the most effective treatment.We’ll talk about your current symptoms and what treatment you have received so far, your medical and family history, your lifestyle and diet, your digestion, sleep pattern and emotional state. This information builds a picture that helps to identify the likely causes of your problems; the factors behind the symptoms. With this information I can decide on the best treatment for you, to bring improvements in the specific complaint, and to bring your whole system back into balance.
I’ll explain how acupuncture can help, exactly what will be involved, and you’ll have your first treatment. Afterwards, if I think acupuncture can help you, I’ll offer you a treatment plan based on how many treatments you might need, and what improvements you can expect. There may be advice for you about exercises, diet, seeing your GP or a specialist, supplements or lifestyle changes that may help you to get better more quickly.If you come for a course of treatment, we’ll review your case at each session and adjust your acupuncture treatment to reflect your progress. These follow-on sessions take about 45 minutes.
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture needles are very fine and small, not at all like the needles used in injections. They are inserted quickly and skilfully, so that any pain is avoided or reduced. Once the needle is in place, there is a sensation, often described as a tingling or dull ache. This may last for a few minutes.
The needles may be left in for twenty minutes or so while you relax on a couch, or may be removed immediately.During treatment, patients commonly experience a sensation of heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation. The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, as well as better digestion and sleep, and an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.
Stimulating specific acupuncture points may affect the functioning of certain organs in the body. However, those points may not be close to the part of the body where the problem is experienced. For example, although you may suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand. There are around 500 such acupuncture points on the body. A selection of perhaps ten or twelve of these may be used for each treatment. It is quite usual for different points to be selected as the patient’s condition changes during a course of treatment.I only use pre-sterilised single use needles, which are safely disposed of after use. This ensures that there is no danger of cross infection. Any discomfort of acupuncture needles is usually minimal, and the benefits of treatment more than make up for it!
How many treatments will I need?
This will depend on how long you have had your problem, your general state of health and how well you respond to acupuncture. I will be able to give you a treatment plan with the number of treatments necessary for you after the initial
consultation.Generally 6-8 treatments is about average, but sometimes just one or two is sufficient. For long term or complex problems, it may be longer. In these cases, we try to set goals and review progress every 6 weeks to ensure we are achieving progress.Treatments are usually once a week to begin with, dropping to once a fortnight as y
ou improve.Many patients like to continue coming for acupuncture once a month after their initial, more intensive course of treatment. This helps to maintain health and well-being and can provide support and management for long term conditions.
Acupuncture treatment can leave you feeling very relaxed. Some people may feel a pleasant light headedness, and in some cases it may be wise to rest for ten to twenty minutes if you are driving.
The acupuncture points stay active for some time after stimulation and so the treatment continues long after you have left the clinic. Wherever possible it is advisable to plan a quiet day following your appointment, particularly towards the start of your course of treatment.
In some cases, particularly with muscular conditions, a minor aggravation may occur as toxins and tensions are released. This is a natural adjustment, part of the healing process, and the desired improvement of symptoms invariably follows swiftly. If this does occur, ‘go with’ the process, resting as much as possible and drinking plenty of water. If symptoms fail to improve, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Do follow any exercise or lifestyle advice which you have been given, as this is designed to speed up the treatment process and prevent re occurrence.It is important to keep a note of any changes taking place in your physical, mental or emotional state, even if you can’t see its direct relevance to your condition. Seemingly unrelated responses can be vital feedback for your practitioner!
Your treatment plan has been structured for your maximum benefit. Keeping your appointments at the suggested interval is important as sessions missed or delayed can lengthen the recovery process and may give symptoms time to worsen.