How does it work?

According to Chinese Medicine, Qi, or the body’s vital energy, flows in a network of meridians that run across the surface of the body and connect with the organs. In a state of ill health, the energy in these channels may become blocked or an imbalance may occur in the organs.

There are specific points along these channels, which affect the functioning of certain organs. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into these points in order to regulate the energy flowing in the channels, promoting the body’s own healing power and restoring its natural balance.

In addition to acupuncture, the practitioner may also use cupping, moxibustion or auricular acupuncture.

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 See also Research.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture cannot be described as painful though the patient is likely to experience some sensation, varying from tingling to a mild ache at the site of the needle. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine, and bear no resemblance at all to the needles used for injections or blood tests.

How will I feel after an acupuncture treatment?

Most patients experience a deep sense of relaxation as tension is released and energies are rebalanced. There may be some immediate relief of symptoms, or this might take more than one session, as the effects of acupuncture are accumulative, and it can take time to unravel chronic conditions. Occasionally you might feel tired for a few hours after the treatment, or there might be a short flare-up of your symptoms as part of a ‘healing reaction’. This is temporary and is usually followed by an improvement of the symptoms the following day.

Duration and frequency of treatment

Treatment is usually given once a week at first, and less frequently as the condition improves. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem, the length of time you have had the problem, your age and general health. A course of treatment is usually required. Very acute conditions may only need one or two treatments; medium-term conditions may clear up in 6 sessions or less; whilst more chronic, long-term conditions will probably need more if they are to be dealt with at a deeper level. A treatment plan will be discussed at the initial consultation. Once the condition clears up, some people choose to have a treatment every six to eight weeks in order to maintain good health.

Are the needles disposable?

The needles used are single-use, pre-sterilized needles, which are disposed of after treatment.

Can I combine acupuncture with other treatments?

Acupuncture can be combined successfully with other treatments including orthodox medical treatment. You should inform the practitioner of any other treatments you are having.