Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Who has acupuncture?
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions, and some because they simply feel generally unwell. Others choose acupuncture to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine.

Do you need to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
Chinese traditional medicine, including acupuncture, developed over many, many hundreds of years from the practical experience of healers. Its effectiveness grows out of clinical experience, not religious faith. You only need to believe in acupuncture enough to turn up for your appointment. After that no faith is needed.

What happens when I go for acupuncture treatment?
You will be asked about your current symptoms, what treatment you have received, your medical history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. The acupuncturist is also likely to feel your pulses on both wrists, and may ask to look at your tongue. The acupuncture points used are not always close to the part of the body where you experience the problem. For example, although you might suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand.

What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache.
What can acupuncture do for me? Acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints such as headaches, vomiting, neck ache, and back and dental pain, through to more general feelings of ill health such as nausea or low energy. Acupuncture is often used in the treatment of a variety of conditions and in conjunction with western medicine. Increasingly women are choosing to have acupuncture to support them throughout pregnancy, labour and after giving birth.

Should my doctor know?
If you have been prescribed medication it makes sense to tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.

Is acupuncture treatment safe?
Acupuncture has a very sound track record. The needles used are disposable, sterile and only used once. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and on occasion minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.
It is a very safe method of treatment when carried out by a fully qualified practitioner. The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), represents acupuncture practitioners who have undergone extensive training in western medicine as well as chinese medicine, and abide by a strict code of ethics.

Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are as fine as a strand of hair. With skilled implementation, you may not feel anything on insertion, or you may only feel a tiny prick. Once inserted, you may feel a pulling sensation or a dull heavy sensation. Most people find it calming and relaxing.

Can you get HIV from the needles?
No, all needles are individually vacuum sealed and sterile. They are disposed of after each

How many sessions will I need?
Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt after five treatments, although occasionally only one or two treatments are required. Some patients may need treatment over several months or long-term. Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week at first.