First appointments include a full diagnostic consultation plus acupuncture treatment.
During this consultation you will be asked questions about your medical history and all aspects of your health and wellbeing; some questions may seem irrelevant to the condition you are seeking treatment for but are essential to making a thorough diagnosis . Your acupuncturist will also look at your tongue and feel your pulses on both wrists. This comprehensive diagnostic consultation allows the practitioner to create a bespoke treatment plan including lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture.
Having your first traditional acupuncture treatment
Before having your first traditional acupuncture treatment there are a just a few simple recommended steps which ensure you will get the most from your session:
Avoid alcohol and caffeine:
The main goal of traditional acupuncture is to make you feel more relaxed and calm, therefore avoid doing anything that can jeopardise this. For example fizzy drinks and coffee before treatment may affect your pulse and tongue, making it much harder to get accurate readings.
Plan to have a meal 2-3 hours before your appointment to allow your food to digest. Don’t go with an empty stomach and, equally importantly, don’t go just after a big meal as you may need to lie on your front.
After treatment you’ll feel incredibly relaxed and some people feel very sleepy so if you can keep your day/evening free of anything too stressful after the session then this works best.
It is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes so that the traditional acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible. Gowns and blankets are provided so you can keep covered and warm.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions required will depend entirely on the individual patient, the condition being treated and will be discussed with you during the initial consultation.
Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once a week at first and often a series of treatments is needed, on average between 4-8 sessions; sessions may reduce in frequency as your body responds. For simple conditions, this period may be shorter, however, more chronic conditions may require treatment over a longer period.
What to expect in treatment?
Very fine, single use, pre-sterilised needles will be inserted into the skin at specific acupuncture points, anywhere from your head to your toes but most commonly on the hands, lower arms, lower legs, feet and back. Some needles may be left in for up to 20 minutes, others may be inserted and removed quickly. Acupuncture points and needle technique will be selected according to the treatment plan designed.
Many people reporting feeling calm and relaxed during and after treatment.
Does it hurt?
No. The acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as the acupuncture works. While the needles are in place most people feel deeply relaxed which can continue after they are removed.
Other methods of treatments might include:
Moxibustion: application of indirect heat using moxa (therapeutic herbs) and/or heat lamps to warm and relax muscles; may be used on individual points or along an acupuncture channel. Often used on the little toe to encourage a breach baby to turn.