What will happen during the first treatment?
In your initial treatment, information will be taken about your current symptoms, what treatment you have already received, your medical history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and general lifestyle. All this information is kept confidential and helps to plan a specific course of treatment for you. Acupuncturists also look at your tongue and feel your pulses on both wrists as this all forms part of the overall diagnosis.
Some of these questions might seem unrelated to your main complaint but they are important in building up a complete picture of your overall health and lifestyle in order to formulate a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs. As all of us are individual even two patients with the same Western medical diagnosis may not receive the same treatment plan.
What will happen in subsequent treatments?
In these treatments very fine, hair like, needles are used to stimulate certain points on the body. Some needles may remain in for a short period of time, others for a matter of seconds. Once inserted a mild sensation usually described as a tingling, pulling or warmth is usually felt which lasts a second or two. Many commonly used points are located on the lower arms and legs so it is useful to wear loose, comfortable clothing.
What can be treated?
Research has shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating a wide range of conditions. Some of them are listed below, but more information is available from a number of organisations including the BAcC (British Acupuncture Council), WHO (World Health Organisation) and NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence)
How many treatments will I need?
The number of sessions required will depend entirely on the individual patient and the condition. Patients are normally seen once a week at first. Some change is usually felt by the patient within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient.
The frequency will be decreased depending on how your treatment progresses and how it best suits your needs.
As a general rule, acute conditions may require only a few sessions, whereas a long standing illness could take longer to improve.
What does it feel like?
One of the most popular myths surrounding acupuncture is the size of the needle used in treatment. In fact research shows that 21% of the British public think an acupuncturist’s needle is as large as that used in an injection. The reality is acupuncture needles are actually the same width as a human hair and some are just 0.13mm in length. Most people might feel a slight tingling sensation when the needles are used, but this certainly does not feel like the pain associated with an injection.
- Asthma and Allergies
- Allergic rhinitis/Hay fever
- Back Pain/Sciatica
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Digestive Disorders
- Gynaecological disorders
- Tiredness/Low Energy
- Menopausal Symptoms
- Menstrual Problems/PMS
- Sports Injuries
- Urinary Problems
Why it’s safe?
Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects, occasionally there may be minor bruising from the site of the needle but this will disappear within a few days. Some patients may feel more tired than usual after the first few treatments but many feel relaxed and calm after treatment. It is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise or alcohol for the rest of the day. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. All treatment is carried out in accordance to BAcC codes of safe practice and treatment rooms are approved and licensed by South Oxfordshire District Council’s Licensing and Safety Department
Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. This makes acupuncture one of the safest treatments available.