Frequently Asked Questions
Does it hurt?
A common misconception about acupuncture is that a lot of needles are used and that it must be painful. This is not so. Most people experience a mild sensation when the needles are inserted. This is often likened to a dull ache. The needles are hair thin and coated with a special silicone covering which makes them incredibly smooth, therefore often no sensation is felt. Sometimes needles are left in and sometimes they are inserted and then removed straight away depending on what I am trying to achieve.
Is it safe?
Yes it is safe if practised by somebody who has been trained to a high standard and is fully insured and licensed. The needles are sterile, single use and if appropriate gloves are worn. Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that has stood the test of time and is still the most widely practised form of medicine across the world. If you have any anxieties about the safety of Acupuncture I would be happy to speak to you in person.
Will I have to take herbs?
No, I do not practise herbal medicine. Occasionally after diagnosis I might recommend a vitamin or mineral supplement.
How long do I have to come for? Will I need a lot of treatment?
This is something we discuss from the outset. I don't want you to feel that you are on a treadmill that you cant get off! If you do not feel the acupuncture is helping then we stop, or you may feel that I am not the right practitioner for you, Sometimes it takes a couple of treatments before you begin to see a change, and sometimes longer treatment is required depending on the severity of your problem. Everyone is different- you have to feel comfortable with where the treatment is going. As a general rule I recommend 5-6 treatments for you to see a lasting change, but treatment will be tailored to your needs.
Will I have to come off my medication?
No. My aim is to work alongside western medicine and I never advocate that you come off medication or change your treatment method without the consultation of your GP.
Can I have other Alternative Medicine whilst I am having Acupuncture?
You can, but I don't recommend starting more than one new treatment at a time. This is so that I can assess you clearly and ascertain what is helping and what isn't, but more importantly, it is for your benefit. If you try more than one thing together you might not know what is helping. If you have been having another therapy for a little while and you want to try acupuncture then that is fine. If you do have therapies together then I normally recommend leaving at least 24 hours between treatments.
Do you treat children?
Yes I do as long as they are accompanied by a parent or carer who will need to sign a consent form. The treatments are shorter and I don't use needles. Instead of needles I use a Japanese form of pediatric acupuncture called 'Shonishin'. This involves gentle rubbing, tapping and mild pressure to stimulate the meridians. Children tend to respond quickly and seem to enjoy the sessions. There are some methods that you will be shown how to do at home to reduce the need for regular clinic treatment. I treat children from birth upwards, If you have any questions please telephone me to discuss your child's needs in more detail. Shonishin can help to treat many childhood ailments such as colic, sleep problems, skin problems, hyperactivity, bed wetting and can help to promote immunity.