Will it hurt?
All needles are very fine and are sterile and disposable. Acupuncture is not generally painful, and most patients love having needles as it helps them so much. Most commonly used treatment points are in the lower arms and lower legs. A gown will be provided if any other body part e.g. back or abdomen need to be accessed.
Most people leave the treatment room feeling very relaxed.
Are there any side effects?
Acupuncture is a very safe treatment. Occasionally,a small bruise can appear at a needle site. Sometimes people can feel slightly dizzy or tired after a treatment,but this passes quickly.
Where are the acupuncture points?
Acupuncture points are located at precise places along interconnected pathways or channels that map the whole body, including the head, trunk and limbs. The most commonly used acupuncture points are on the lower arms and legs.
What should I do before a treatment?
Try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse, and you may need to lie on your stomach.You should also avoid alcohol and food or drink that colours your tongue such as coffee or strong tea. It is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes so that the acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible. Your pulse will be taken on both wrists and your tongue looked at.This may seem odd but it is an important part of TCM diagnosis.
Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing. Patients often describe the needle sensation as a tingling or dull ache. This sensation passes quickly after insertion and is one of the signs the body's qi,or vital energy, has been stimulated.
Should I still take my prescribed medication while I'm having a course of acupuncture?
Yes. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication in time, but you should always consult your doctor regarding any change of prescription. DO NOT stop taking medication without professional guidance.
I have private medical insurance - will it cover the cost of my treatment?
That depends upon your insurer. It is far more common these days as the demand for complementary medicine increases and more people wish to avoid taking medication if they can.More and more private health insurance companies are beginning to offer cover for traditional acupuncture. You should check your individual policy details.
I'm scared of needles - can I still have acupuncture?
Yes. Acupuncture needles are nothing like the needles used for injections and blood tests, they are very much finer. You may not even feel them penetrate the skin and once in place they are hardly noticeable. Tell your practitioner about your fear so that she can talk you through it sensitively.