During your visit I will ask about your general health and information about the condition(s) that you require treatment for. I will need details of your medical history including a list of any medication you take so it would be useful to bring your prescription(s) with you. I will ask further questions on areas such as sleep, digestion, feelings and lifestyle and look at your tongue and pulse and examine the areas of muscular tension or pain. All this information is important for me to diagnose and create a treatment plan, which may involve acupuncture and other treatments that we can work on to help alleviate your symptoms. In addition there maybe suggestions on changes to lifestyle and diet that will support your treatment. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the treatment plan and decide whether you wish to go ahead with the treatment.
What do I need to do before my treatment ?
There is no special preparation needed for a treatment. It's best to avoid acupuncture on an empty stomach so perhaps try to eat a light meal or have a snack with no alcohol an hour beforehand. This will minimise the chance of feeling dizzy or faint after a treatment. It's also helpful if you wear loose, comfortable clothing to allow for easy access to lower arms and legs, where common points are located.
Please let me know if you are either pregnant or trying to conceive as there are certain acupoints that should be avoided through pregnancy.
If you are a blood donor or thinking about becoming one, please be aware that The National Blood Service does not allow you to donate blood for six months from your last session of traditional acupuncture.
What are the after effects of a treatment ?
A treatment usually lasts between 20 - 30 minutes depending upon the type of treatment and during that time, people tend to relax and let go of any tension they are holding in their bodies. They frequently feel calmer and sometimes a little sleepier after a treatment so bear this in mind if you need to drive or use other machinery after your treatment. There are usually no significant side effects, although there may be some short term bruising at the needle site or from cupping if used. It's also a good idea to drink some water after a treatment and to avoid alcohol / strenuous exercise for several hours and if you can, just allow your body to rest.
What does it feel like ?
Acupuncture uses very fine, sterile, single use needles and many people do not feel them being inserted. They can feel a tingle or ache near the needle site and as they are being adjusted followed by a sense of relaxation. This short video from the British Acupuncture Council may be helpful.
How often would I need to come ?
This will be discussed at your first visit and the frequency of treatment depends upon what you are coming for and whether the condition has recently happened or is more longstanding in nature. Normally you will be seen once a week with regular check-ins to see how you are responding to treatment. This will determine whether you no longer need treatment or it continues, perhaps fortnightly, monthly, to sustain any benefits you are receiving from the treatment.
Will I need to undress?
This depends upon what you are being treated for. Loose clothing helps to gain access to the arms and legs and sometimes you may need to undress, keeping your underwear on, if I need access to your upper legs, back or torso. Towels are provided for covering your body and I will leave the room to give you privacy when undressing.