What is involved in a treatment
It is normal to have a course of acupuncture treatment with the frequency and length of treatment depending on your individual condition. Acute conditions often respond quickly and only 2 or 3 treatments are needed, although if you have a history of similar problems then a longer course may well be required for a lasting improvement. Similarly, chronic ongoing conditions tend to respond more slowly, although some benefit is normally experienced within the first few treatments.
The first session will be a combined consultation and treatment, which together will take 60-75 minutes. During this consultation I will ask a number of questions about the condition for which you are seeking treatment, your general bodily functioning (sleep, appetite, digestion etc), your medical history and sometimes a bit of your personal history. This will be followed by a short physical examination which includes observation of your tongue and pulse.
Subsequent sessions will normally begin with a few questions about your response to the previous treatment and an examination of your pulse and tongue.
In a typical treatment between about 4 and 20 needles will be used. These may be inserted and removed immediately or left in for up to half an hour. The needles are very fine and when they are inserted a dull ache is normally felt. Your pulse will be examined through treatment as this gives immediate feedback about the effect of the needles.
Some tips to help you to get the most out of your treatment:
- Please do not consume alcohol before a treatment and keep intake of stimulants such as coffee and tea to a minimum.
- It is best not to have acupuncture directly after a large meal. If you have a tendency towards feeling light-headed then also please ensure that it is not too long since you last had something to eat.
- Although there are points all over the body the most commonly used ones are on the limbs below the elbow and below the knee. For this reason it is helpful if tights are not worn and clothing is loose enough to be rolled up to the elbow or knee.
- It is helpful if minimal amounts of make-up and perfume are worn, particularly for the initial consultation. Observation of subtle changes in odour and skin colour during treatment can provide diagnostically significant information.
- Some people can feel quite tired after treatment, particularly after their first treatment and it is important to take this into account when making an appointment. If possible avoid making an appointment on a day that you know will be very demanding. Please try to get as much rest in the 24 hours after treatment as possible.