Frequently Asked Questions
Does acupuncture work?
There are approximately 8000 published clinical trials and over 60 conditions listed on the BAcC Research Fact Sheets here.
An overview of scientific evidence can also be found here.
In my experience and that of my teachers and mentors there is a tremendous amount of anecdotal and clinical evidence that acupuncture is effective in helping people achieve equilibrium and an enhanced quality of life.
How does acupuncture work?
Practitioners are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been refined over 1000s of years to focus on treating the individual rather than a collection of symptoms. Treatment involves insertion of needles into specific points to stimulate the body's own innate healing response to restore balance of body and mind. From our perspective we are working to improve the movement and quality of Qi and fluids (including Blood) within a person in order to reduce deficiency, congestion, stagnation and inflammation.
In the same way that I would not expect a Western medical doctor to explain their system in a Chinese medical context, I prefer not to try and explain Chinese Medicine in Western medical terminology.
I am scared of needles, how big are they?
Acupuncture needles range from 0.12mm to 0.30mm gauge with 0.25mm being the gauge I use most frequently. The picture shows a medical syringe to be 2.9mm in gauge which is approximately ten times larger than the average acupuncture needle. I use single use, sterile and disposable needles. I adhere to the BAcC Code of Professional Conduct and The Code of Safe Practice. These can be read here
Does it hurt?
Sometimes when the Qi of the body grasps the acupuncture needle a slightly dull, achy or mild electrical sensation may be felt for a few seconds.
If there is a blockage in the channel you may feel a sensation for a few moments. If an area has been starved of adequate Qi and Blood supply for some time it may temporarily feel uncomfortable as the Qi and Blood begin to flow more freely. Many people are surprised at how relaxing and pain free acupuncture is most of the time!
How much does it cost?
Please discuss with me at the time of booking if you are on a very low income. I am able to make concessions for those who are struggling financially
First Consultation, including treatment- Special Offer until 31st May 2022; £49. (Usual price £55)
Follow up treatments- £37
What happens in a session?
During our first meeting I will take an in-depth case history. I will take your pulses, observe your tongue and may use palpation and other examinations depending on your complaint/s. Treatment often involves a combination of retained needles, cupping, moxibustion, guasha and/or electro acupuncture depending on the patient. My approach to treatment is very hands on and the "adjunct" practices of guasha, moxibustion and cupping are central to my practice.
How many treatments will I need?
This will depend on you and your symptoms. Everyone is unique and responds to treatment differently. In some cases of chronic illness treatment may take longer and this will also be influenced by other factors such as frequency of treatment.
I recommend booking 3 or 4 weekly consecutive treatments as this will enable me to understand how you respond and to resolve any uncertainties in my diagnosis. In the same way that a GP may send you for further investigations over weeks or months to inform their diagnosis and subsequent treatment, I will monitor carefully how you respond to each treatment to enable a better understanding of how to treat you. In the longer term, patients come for weekly, monthly or seasonal maintenance treatments.
We will work together at all stages of treatment and regularly revise your treatment plan to best suit your needs. If at any point I feel that the treatment is not working for you, or that I do not have the specific skills to assist you, I will not hesitate in discussing this with you and may refer you to another practitioner with a skill set that may be more beneficial to you.