Initial appointment: £55 – approximate time: 90 minutes. Subsequent treatments: £40 – 60 minutes.
What to expect
Every treatment is tailored to the individual, therefore a number of questions will be asked during your initial visit in order to gain a thorough understanding of your personal history and presenting condition. This will include things like your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, your emotional wellbeing and also looking at your tongue and taking your pulse on both wrists, in order to gain as full a picture as possible. Depending on your condition it may also be necessary to feel the area of pain or discomfort or areas of muscular tension.

Treatment is by the insertion of fine needles at various points on the body. The number of needles and locations will vary depending on the condition that you present with. Needles might not necessarily be inserted at the location of where you are experiencing discomfort. For example; you may have needles inserted into your feet if you are experiencing migraines.

Part of your treatment may also include lifestyle and dietary advice.

It’s completely normal to feel nervous prior to your first acupuncture session. The thought of someone jabbing you with needles might conjure up images of a medieval torture session, but the process is virtually painless. Take a deep breath and relax. Once you arm yourself with information and know what to expect, you’ll find that you’ll actually enjoy the experience (really!).
Other Techniques
As well as needling acupuncture points, other traditional techniques may be used:
Heat is applied to an acupuncture point or meridian using moxa (a therapeutic herb) and/or heat lamps to warm and relax muscles.
Vigorous rubbing of the skin increases blood flow.
Glass cups with a vacuum seal are placed on the skin to stimulate blood flow.
Frequently asked questions
Is it Safe?
The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild-dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.
Do I need to inform my GP?
If you are already receiving treatment under your GP it is a good idea to let him/her know but there is no official requirement for this.
Will it affect current use of medication?
It is important that you continue with any existing medication whilst receiving Acupuncture; however it is sometimes found that it is possible to reduce medication.

A Government backed pilot study where GPs referred patients to complementary therapies including that of Acupuncture reported a 50% reduction in the need for medication.
What does it feel like?
The experience is unique to each individual. The needles are very fine and often people do not notice the needle go in. Common sensations reported at the site of needle insertion may be tingling/warmth/ache/dragging. These sensations tend to be very short lived.

It is generally found to be very relaxing and induces a sense of calm.
How many treatments will I need?
Because Acupuncture is not a one size fits all approach, the number of treatments you require will very much depend upon you as an individual and the nature of your condition.

A treatment plan will be discussed with you at your initial consultation but as a general rule, more chronic conditions require more sessions than something that is more acute. It is expected that you would feel some change or benefit after one or two treatments. Initially, weekly treatments are recommended with longer intervals between as improvements in your health progress.
Before your treatment
Before your first acupuncture session, please bear in mind:
Many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is helpful to wear clothing that allows easy access to these areas.

Try not to go for treatment on an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal.
Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel a little tired and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment.

You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment.
Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Cupping and guasha can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.
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