Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects. Most people feel very relaxed following treatment. If the treatment has been particularly strong you may feel tired or drowsy for a short period, but this will not last. Any side effects that do occur are mild, self-correcting and part of the re-balancing process. Occasionally there may be minor bruising at the place of needle insertion or a short-term flare-up of your symptoms as your body heals from the inside out. Very occasionally a patient may feel faint during the treatment and this is usually due to not eating anything prior to treatment. This can be easily remedied by eating some fruit whilst at the clinic. This said, these minor side-effects are experienced very infrequently by patients.
Acupuncture treatment is beneficial before, during and post pregnancy with the appropriate cautions being taken. It is extremely effective in cases of infertility, as well as treatment of morning sickness, sciatic pain, post-partum depression. If you would like to ask further questions on this please get in touch.
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, and you may need to lie on your stomach. However, it is good to have eaten something small prior to treatment as this provides energy for the healing process. Try to avoid food or drink that colours your tongue such as coffee, strong tea or beetroot. It is very useful if you can wear loose-fitting clothes or bring a pair of tracksuit bottoms/shorts with you, so that the acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible.
The number of treatments required will depend on the individual and condition being treated. At first it is normal to receive weekly treatments, but a treatment plan can always be tailored to suit individual needs. Positive change is usually noticed after 3-6 weekly sessions, although sometimes only one or two sessions maybe required. This will be assessed during the initial consultation and after each subsequent treatment to ensure your individual needs are met. Traditional acupuncture is also very effective when used as preventive healthcare and many people like to come for a regular “M.O.T”.
A follow-up session typically takes 75 minutes. Your progress will be discussed and any change in symptoms. There is always the opportunity to discuss further symptoms or areas of complaint. Your pulse will be felt again and any changes to the tongue noted. By the second treatment a plan of action can be made based on your response to the first treatment.
The first consultation typically takes between 75-90 minutes. A full case history is taken including medical history, family history, current symptoms, diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. Your pulse will be felt on both wrists, your tongue examined and your abdomen palpated.
This is followed by an acupuncture treatment based on your individual needs.
Acupuncture is safe when carried out by a qualified practitioner. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. Specific points in the body are needled and these are found at precise anatomical locations. You may feel relaxed and calm after a treatment or fully energised, depending on the aim. Occasionally you might feel sleepy or drowsy, however this is only ever short lived and not a negative thing. Many people find that as well as alleviating their symptoms they came for originally, they also have more energy, better sleep and a better sense of well-being generally.
Japanese needles are especially fine and inserted very lightly. Acupuncture needles come in range of sizes for different areas of the body, but they are no wider than 0.25mm in diameter. Acupuncture needles are very much finer than the needles used for injections and blood tests. You may not even feel them penetrate the skin and once in place they are hardly noticeable.
Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling, numbness or dull ache in the area. It is virtually painless. Sometimes you will not feel anything at all. The needles are usually left in for up to 20 mins or taken straight out, depending on what the aim of the treatment is.
Japanese style acupuncture combines classical Chinese medical principles with modern pathophysiology in a way that facilitates the understanding and brings out the best in both.
Chinese Medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. There is a vital energy inherent in all living things, which is called Qi (pronounced chee). There is a system of cyclic energy flowing in the human body along specific pathways called channels or meridians. Each channel is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. When the Qi in the pathways becomes obstructed, deficient or excessive, disease occurs. The corresponding organs, muscles and sensory organs do not get their necessary flow of energy and nutrients to properly perform their physiological functions.
The channels communicate with the surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. Needles inserted in these points influence the Qi that flows to internal organs. Acupuncture can also affect specific areas of pain associated with injury or trauma.
Extensive research and clinical trials have been carried out on the efficacy of Acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of conditions. Please click here to view a list of specific conditions.