Acupuncture is based on a holistic system of medicine that has been researched and refined over 2000 years. It can be used safely and effectively alone or alongside conventional medicine.
Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of conditions and seeks to address the root cause or imbalance, not just the symptoms. This approach also means that each patient’s treatment plan will be different. However, you can always ask your acupuncture practitioner about other patients’ experiences, to give you an idea of what to expect.
What happens when I go for treatment?
The practitioner will use a number of different diagnostic methods to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, including taking a full medical history, reading your pulses, and looking at your tongue. The acupuncturist will also review any conventional medical tests and results you may already have.
Based on this information, the practitioner makes a diagnosis and puts together your personal treatment plan. Acupuncture points are selected according to your symptoms and the stage of treatment. The needles are sterile and single-use.
The practitioner may also use other treatment techniques including cupping, guasha, tui na, chinese herbs and moxa during treatment
How many sessions will I need?
Frequency and number of sessions depend on your individual condition.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling sensation or dull ache.
Is it safe?
The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ September 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.
Should my doctor know?
If you have been prescribed medication or are undertaking assisted conception (e.g. IVF, ICSI, IUI etc) we recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell your acupuncture practitioner about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. BAcC and ATCM-registered acupuncturists are trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and may refer you to your GP if they consider it appropriate.
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