Common Questions About Acupuncture Treatment
Frequently Asked Questions
How does acupuncture work?
According to classical Chinese medicine, Acupuncture works to restore the body’s ability to heal and regenerate itself. It does this by stimulating the movement of qi and blood within the body, thereby removing blockages that can lead to illness. According to a classical Chinese proverb, “If there is free flow, there is no pain. If there is pain, there is no free flow.” In other words, Chinese medicine proposes that it is the movement and free flow of qi and blood within the body that is necessary for the maintenance of health.
In contrast, Western medicine believes that acupuncture’s effects may be explained by the release of endogenous opioids and oxytocin following the stimulation of acupuncture points with needles.
What does an acupuncture treatment feel like?
Most patients find acupuncture treatments to be relaxing. On needle insertion, patients often describe a dull, slightly aching sensation, numbness or tingling that disappears after a few moments. Depending on the acupuncture points used, one may also feel a mild electrical shock sensation known as de qi. This sensation indicates to the practitioner that the qi at this point has been activated. Finally, one may feel nothing at all.
How many acupuncture treatments will I need?
The number of acupuncture sessions you may need very much depends on the specific conditions you are looking to treat. Following your initial consultation and treatment, your practitioner will discuss and agree on a treatment plan with you.
As a guideline, we recommend that you return for treatment regularly to begin with – perhaps once or twice per week. You should start to see results after the second or third session. However, keep in mind that with chronic conditions, it is likely to take more time before you see noticeable improvements.
Does acupuncture have any side effects?
Acupuncture is virtually free of side effects – the most likely of which is minor bruising at the site of needling or cupping. Although still unlikely, bruises are no cause for alarm and will clear of their own accord. However, if you have any concerns, you can discuss these with your acupuncturist.
Are acupuncture needles safe?
Acupuncture needles are entirely safe. They are much more delicate than the hypodermic needles used for drawing blood. Acupuncture needles are composed of stainless steel, are pre-sterilized, come individually wrapped and are only used once. Needles are disposed of safely in sharps containers following each treatment.
Can children or teenagers have acupuncture?
Acupuncture is completely safe for young children and teenagers.
How do I know which acupuncturist to choose?
There are many types of acupuncture, and it can be difficult for a patient to understand where best to seek treatment. However, Ben is a fully certified member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and therefore adheres to their strict code of conduct and safe practice. In this context, you can be sure that you are in the best possible care.
See How We Work
Your first acupuncture treatment explained...
Case History (20 mins)
An assessment of your general health and medical history, which includes the following:
- A discussion about your presenting complaint.
- A physical assessment: body, tongue and pulse diagnosis.
- An opportunity to raise any questions that you may have before treatment.
Treatment Plan (10 mins)
Prior to treatment, your practitioner will discuss your treatment plan and the proposed locations for needle placement. He will then begin by placing very fine needles at these strategic points on your body.
To find out more about acupuncture, please click here.
Treatment (20 mins)
After placement, your practitioner may gently manipulate the needles to stimulate the acupuncture points or channels. Moxibustion, gua sha or cupping therapies may be added to the treatment at this point if necessary.
The needles remain in place for approximately 20 minutes. While you rest during this time, your practitioner may be tending to other patients in adjoining rooms.
Needle Removal (5 mins)
After approximately 20 minutes, all needles are removed and disposed of hygienically in sharps containers.
Finally, in line with your treatment plan, your practitioner will advise you when to book a follow-up appointment.