Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who has acupuncture?
A: Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose acupuncture as a preventative measure to strengthen their constitution, or because they just feel generally unwell. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine.

Q: What should I do before a treatment?
A: You should try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse. You should also avoid alcohol, and food or drinks which colour your tongue, such as coffee, immediately prior to treatment.

Q: What happens when I go for a treatment?
A: You will be asked about your current symptoms, what treatment you have received, your medical history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. I will also feel your pulses on both wrists, and look at your tongue too. The acupuncture points used are not always close to the part of the body where you experience the problem. For example, although you might suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. I would recommend a course of treatment which is 8 treatments. I will review your progress with you, and carefully monitor your treatment to ensure that it matches your needs.

Q: Should I tell my doctor?
A: If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it is sensible to mention that you plan to have acupuncture. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication, but you should always consult your doctor regarding any change of prescription. I will need to know about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.

Q: Should I continue with my prescribed medication while undergoing a course of acupuncture treatment?
A: Yes, at least until you have discussed this with your doctor or the practitioner who prescribed the medication. Many people seek the help of an acupuncturist because of dissatisfaction with drug treatment, because it does not seem to be working or because the side effects are unacceptable. DO NOT stop taking any medication without professional guidance.

Q: Is it safe?
A: Acupuncture is very safe. Research shows that serious side effects are very rare, less than one per 10,000 treatments. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable.

Q: What does it feel like?
A: Acupuncture needles are substantially finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is sometimes described as a tingling or a dull ache.

Q: What can acupuncture do for me?
A: Acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints such as headaches, vomiting, neck ache, and back, rheumatic and dental pain, through to more general feelings of ill health such as nausea or low energy.

Many women choose to have acupuncture throughout pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, it is increasingly used by couples dealing with problems of infertility or to support IVF treatment. Acupuncture can also support people trying to overcome addictions such as those related to smoking, alcohol, food or drugs.

Q: How long does it last and how much does it cost?
A: The first consultation and treatment session usually lasts up to 2 hours and is £65. The following treatments last 30-60 mins and are £45. I only accept cash payments. Please note that broken appointments and cancellations will be charged for unless 24 hours notice is given.

Q: Can I buy an acupuncture machine for self-treatment?
A: The British Acupuncture Council does not recommend self-treatment either with needles or other acupuncture devices. A fully trained practitioner carefully diagnoses and administers appropriate treatment for each individual, and will refer you to your GP if necessary. 'Specific points for specific symptoms' techniques are usually not based on traditional acupuncture theory and may cause someone to suppress or overlook important symptoms which require further investigation.

Q: Why should I see you?
A: I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council. All members of the British Acupuncture Council have extensive training in acupuncture (to undergraduate degree level) and in biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture in the UK. I am also covered by full Medical Malpractice and Public/ Products Liability Insurance. I am also BAcC bound by codes of professional conduct and safe practice.