Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during my acupuncture appointment?

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine and aims to discover the roots of any particular illness. The main problem will be discussed in detail, we will then ask other relevant questions about your health to help build up a complete picture and to put your illness into holistic context. After the discussion we will take your pulse and examine your tongue. Taking the pulse in Chinese Medicine is very different from Western medicine as it is an important pillar of diagnosis, which helps give information about the state of your Qi and the status quo of your internal organs. A physical examination will be performed for any muscular-skeletal problems and it is common practise to palpate along acupuncture channels for a wide range of ailments.

The initial consultation will last approximately one hour and each treatment is tailored according to the individual’s presenting condition.

How long is an acupuncture appointment?

The initial consultation is usually one hour, but can be slightly longer for more complex cases. Follow up appointments usually last 45 to 50 minutes. Consultations for fertility or herbal medicine may take up to 1.5 hours.

Is acupuncture painful?

Typically no, as the needles are so fine they tend to separate the skin fibres without cutting them. Occasionally, a needle might press against a pain receptor on the skin and that can cause momentary sharpness, with needle insertion you can elicit a sensation that can feel like heaviness or localised ache in the area where the needle is inserted. This sensation can persist for a few minutes after the treatment and depending on the needling technique can also be directed to radiate further down the channels working on.

Do I need to avoid activity or food/drink before my acupuncture appointment?

It is advisable to avoid strenuous activity before and after your treatment. Make sure you have had food a few hours before treatment, it is fine to have treatment on an empty stomach but it is best not to fast beforehand. Also, avoid caffeine if you are having treatment for pain, current research suggests that caffeine can reduce the effectiveness of an acupuncture treatment. Finally, go to the toilet before your treatment as you will most likely be in the same position for up to 40 minutes.

Is there anything I should do after my acupuncture treatment?

It is vital that you rest after your treatment, we often advise people to sit down in the waiting room for a short while rather than rush back to work or home. You should also avoid any exertion or physical activity and reduce the amount of stimulants or sedatives.

What do I wear for my acupuncture appointment?

You should wear loose comfortable clothing that allows the acupuncturist access to the area to be worked on.

How often should I have acupuncture?

We usually treat people once a week, very occasionally we treat them more frequently that this if they have suffered from an acute injury. Follow up treatments are done weekly or every two to three weeks. Those who have maintenance treatments might only need to come in two to three times a year.

How many sessions of acupuncture will I need?

Acute conditions usually respond quickly to acupuncture and we aim to have a resolution within two to three sessions. Chronic conditions can take longer, as a rule of thumb, four session are needed for every year of the condition. However, the acupuncturist will review the case after five sessions.

Is acupuncture suitable when undergoing other therapies?

This would depend on the therapy. It is useful to let your acupuncturist know as they will usually want to time your treatment so it is most effective. We have worked with osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists as well as hospital consultants.

Can I have acupuncture if I take blood thinning drugs?

Yes, blood thinning drugs are not an issue while having acupuncture as most needling is so superficial that bleeding is rare.

Can I give blood while having acupuncture?

Yes, but you will need to wait for four months after your last acupuncture treatment.

Can my child have acupuncture?

Yes, children are fine to have acupuncture after the age of three months. You will need to find an acupuncturist who has been trained to treat children as the diagnosis, needling technique and the length of treatment is very different to that of adults.

Do I need to be referred by a health professional?

No, you do not need to be referred by a health professional, although we do get referrals from a host of professionals including consultants and GP’s.

Can I have a receipt for my treatment?

Yes, just ask your therapist or call us and we will organise this for you.

Can I have a report of my treatment?

Yes, just ask your therapist or call us and we will organise this for you.

Will my health insurance company cover the cost of acupuncture?

You can find a list of some of the private health insurers that cover the cost of acupuncture on our insurance page here.  However, every company and policy is different so it is best to contact them directly to see what your policy covers.

If you would like to book an appointment please contact us.