Having Treatment

Why have acupuncture or Chinese herbs?
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises that health is more than just the absence of illness. It has a remarkable ability to cultivate our capacity for well-being and happiness. The health care system as a whole places great importance on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs.

Many people choose acupuncture to help with particular symptoms such as osteoarthritis of the knee or nausea during pregnancy. Others might take Chinese herbs to support them alongside conventional medicine, for example while receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Some clients make use of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a preventative measure, seeking treatment to maintain good health, or to prepare for conception.

Your First Appointment
During the initial visit you will be asked about current symptoms and other aspects of your health and lifestyle such as your sleep pattern, digestion, emotional state and medical history. A diagnosis according to Traditional Chinese Medicine also includes feeling the pulse and looking at your tongue. All this information helps to form a picture of any imbalances that might be present and whether acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs could help you. 

Your treatment plan
If appropriate, treatment can consist of either acupuncture or herbs or a combination of both. Acupuncture treatments are usually given on a weekly basis to start with. If herbs are used alongside acupuncture appointments are generally less frequent. Herbal preparations in the form of teas or tablets are usually taken twice daily. The treatment plan will also give you an idea of the frequency and length of treatment which depends on the individual. It may also include advice on seeing your GP or a specialist, diet or lifestyle changes which may help you to get better sooner.

How many sessions?
This depends on the individual, how long you have had the problem, your general state of health and how well you respond to treatment. A typical course of treatment is between 5 and 8 acupuncture sessions, but sometimes just 2 or 3 are sufficient. For long-term or complex issues more sessions may be required. Using both acupuncture and Chinese herbs together often helps to speed up progress.

What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture needles are fine and very different from needles used for injections. I only use disposable, single use acupuncture needles which are sterilised, stored in sealed packs and safely disposed of after each treatment.

When needles are inserted the sensation is often described as a tingling or a dull ache. Needles can be inserted for a few seconds only or left in place for 20 minutes or more, depending on the effect required. During treatment many people experience a feeling of relaxation. Sometimes warmth can be applied to the points by smouldering moxa (the herb Artemisia) or tiny magnets are left in place to stimulate points between treatments.

Advice for your visit
Please keep in mind that acupuncture points chosen are not always close to where you are experiencing the problem and treatment may involve you having to remove items of clothing. It is also not advisable to have an acupuncture treatment after a big meal or on an empty stomach. Your first visit will usually last 60 to 90 minutes and subsequent appointments about 45 to 60 minutes.

Contact & Clinics