What happens when I come for treatment?
At the initial consultation we’ll spend time talking about the details of your health problem, in order to identify the possible causes and underlying patterns of disharmony to 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. Based on this, I can decide on the best treatment strategy 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 let you know 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 very quickly, so any sharpness is avoided or reduced. Once the needle is in place, there is a sensation, often described as a tingling or dull ache, which lasts for a few seconds. The needles are usually left in for twenty minutes or so, while you relax on a couch.
During treatment, patients commonly experience a 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.
I often use massage alongside the acupuncture to ease muscular tension, improve circulation and to help to identify the exact location of a painful condition.
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.
Experienced acupuncturists use a selection of perhaps ten or twelve of these 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 used only once and then safely disposed of. This ensures that there is no danger of cross infection.
Not many people enjoy needling, but the discomfort of acupuncture needles is usually minimal, and only last a few seconds. The benefits of treatment more than make up for it!