Some people feel the benefit of acupuncture after just one or two sessions, but I would generally recommend a course of four treatments to see how acupuncture can help you. Chronic conditions might need longer to improve. Weekly sessions are more beneficial as the effect of treatment is cumulative.
Once your health has stabilised, you may feel you benefit from top-up monthly treatments or even look to treatment at the change of each season throughout the year.
Acupuncture needles are very fine and bear no resemblance to those used in injections or blood tests. A tingling sensation or a dull ache is sometimes felt when the point is stimulated which quickly fades. Most people feel very relaxed and calm after treatment, and leave feeling re-energised and clearer headed.
Please eat a light snack before coming in for treatment and, ideally, avoid alcohol for 24 hours afterwards.
I may suggest ways in which you can enhance the long-term effects of your treatment, which may involve making changes to your diet and daily routine. In Chinese Medicine, diet, sleep, exercise and other lifestyle factors can strongly influence our body’s ability to keep in balance.
From a biomedical viewpoint, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system, influencing the production of the body’s communication substances – hormones and neurotransmitters. The resulting biochemical changes activate the body’s self-regulating homeostatic systems promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional medicine. If you have been prescribed medication, you may wish to tell your doctor that you are receiving acupuncture treatment. Please inform me of any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to treatment.
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments on offer in the UK, both in conventional and complementary medicine. Two independently conducted surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001, concluded that the risk of an adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. A further study of 6,000 acupuncture patients in 2003, reported a handful of minor and transient side effects.
Slight bruising around acupuncture points may occur occasionally. Cupping and guasha can sometimes temporarily mark the skin, but this will usually clear in a day or two.