Here are answers to some of the most common questions about acupuncture treatment.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
When most people think of needles they think about those used for injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much finer (one patient famously remarked that they were more like bristles than needles!). All needles are sterile and designed for single use. They may be inserted and immediately removed or may be left in place for a short while, depending on the effect required.
Most patients describe a dull, slightly aching sensation when the needle is inserted. It’s not unpleasant and is a sign that the needle is doing its stuff!
IS IT SAFE?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. Sue uses only sterile, disposable needles. As a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) she keeps to very stringent standards of hygiene and safety which have been approved by the Department of Health.
Sue places great emphasis on the importance of recognising when it is safe to treat with acupuncture and when patients should be referred to their GP.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WOULD I NEED?
Every individual is unique, and so is everyone’s response to treatment.
Sometimes the effects of treatment are dramatic and only one or two treatments are required. For others the initial improvements are in overall health/well-being and then improvement in the main problem follows. Most patients attend weekly for around four or five weeks. After that you can expect your visits to become more spaced out (say fortnightly or three-weekly), or for the treatment to be complete.
Most people feel revitalised mentally or physically fairly early in treatment. The length of time you have had your condition or problem is always important in assessing how quickly improvement can be expected. This is something that would be discussed at your first consultation.
In reality, many patients feel so much better with acupuncture that they come back every now and again for maintenance.
SHOULD I TELL MY DOCTOR I AM HAVING ACUPUNCTURE?
If you are already receiving treatment through your doctor then it makes sense to tell her or him that you are having acupuncture.
Acupuncture works very effectively alongside conventional medicine. Many patients, particularly those with chronic, long-term conditions, find that acupuncture treatment enables them to reduce dependence on medication. But, of course, this should only ever be done in consultation with your doctor.
WHAT IF I’M STILL NOT SURE?
If you are unsure and would like to have a chat before committing to treatment you are welcome to contact Sue. Sue also offers a free 15-minute consultation for this purpose.
WILL I NEED TO CHANGE MY LIFESTYLE?
It may be that as an aid to your treatment Sue will make some lifestyle recommendations. If this is required she would work with you to ensure they were realistic and achievable. They could include, for example, dietary advice, changes to work/life balance, changes to exercise regimes and so on.