Information and FAQs
What is Acupuncture? How does it work?
Acupuncture has been practised in the China and the far east for thousands of years. Since then it has been tested and researched extensively and increasing numbers of people are turning to it as an alternative to Western medicine or to support conventional treatments. There is growing evidence based clinical research into how acupuncture can benefit a wide range of health conditions.
During an acupuncture treatment, very fine needles are inserted in to particular points in the body with the intention of moving blood and fluid and clearing pathogens in order to restore health and ensure a smooth flow of energy.
Acupuncture also helps to balance the autonomic nervous system, which regulates bodily functions (such as heart rate, digestion and respiratory rate). In today's increasingly stressful world, it is common for people's autonomic nervous system to be overloaded and out of balance. Acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins and serotonin and initiates a state of relaxation which allows the body to recover from stress and heal itself.
People turn to acupuncture for a wide variety of physical conditions such as headaches, back pain, arthritis and infertility as well as for mental and emotional issues such as anxiety, stress and depression. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has an official list of diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture and where acupuncture has been proved to be an effective treatment.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture uses minimal intervention, is established as safe and is increasingly being validated by clinical research. All acupuncture needles are single-use and sterile. You are generally able to continue with prescribed medication whilst undergoing acupuncture treatments (although it is important that you provide me with a full list of all medications you are taking) and you may even be able to reduce or stop taking some forms of medication as a result of treatments (always subject to consultation with and approval from your GP).
Is it painful and are there side effects?
People generally only feel a slight sharpness on insertion. Once inserted you may feel an achy or numb sensation but it is not the same as, for example, a vaccination as acupuncture needles are very fine. Generally people feel relaxed during and after treatment and many people fall asleep.
You may feel a bit tired or drowsy after treatment, and some people will experience a flare up of their symptoms. However, these effects do not occur in every case and will be temporary.
How many treatments will I need?
Every person and every condition is different and I do not therefore recommend a set number of treatments or suggest that people commit to a course of treatments. For new or acute issues it may only take a couple of sessions to see improvement. For longer term/chronic conditions it may take more time and regular treatment may be necessary. However, once the symptoms have improved I would generally suggest only having occasional treatment to help keep you well.
How should I prepare for treatment?
Needles may be inserted in your legs, arms or abdomen, so ideally you should wear loose, comfortable clothing. However, privacy and blankets will be provided if you are required to remove any clothing. If possible, avoid eating for an hour before treatment, and avoid having any alcohol prior to your treatment.
Will my health insurance cover sessions?
As I am a member of the AFPA, most insurance companies will cover the sessions depending on your plan.
Where can I find more information about acupuncture?
To see more FAQs, please visit the AFPA website or the BAcC website