How does it feel?
The needles are as fine as the hair on your head and are tapped through a plastic tube for painless insertion. The acupuncture point is a few millimetres below the surface of the skin. When reached, there is a momentary dull ache or cramping sensation. Points in areas that don’t have much fat or muscle tend to feel more like a quick small sting. Most people find the feeling unusual rather than painful. Once the sensation is felt the needle is immediately removed. Each point will be activated and then the needle removed one at a time which is a Japanese needle technique unique to Classical Five-Element Acupuncture.
For those who have a true needle phobia, the typical comment is ‘Is that it?’ The thought of needles is far worse than the actual application.
Most people find the treatment very relaxing and leave feeling that way.
How does it work?
Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny, hair-fine needles at points on the surface of the body. Western thought is that this stimulates the nervous system which influences the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. This process allows homeostatic mechanisms to improve helping the body self-regulate into healing mode.
In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. The needle is then used to restore this qi energy via pathways termed meridians that run just below the surface of the skin deeper within to each organ.
How long will it take to see the results?
Most people notice some sort of change after the first session – feeling uplifted, relaxed, or an increased level of energy. This is an indication that the treatment is working as the function of the body is improving. Some treatments provide instant relief, whilst others take longer to accumulate one treatment at a time. Results can vary from person to person for many reasons – overall health, the condition, lifestyle factors and individual responses to Acupuncture. Your rate of recovery will become clearer within the first four sessions. If there are any lifestyle factors that may hinder your progress, this will be discussed in the first few sessions.
Does it work for everyone?
There is an average way I would expect most people to respond to treatment. Outside of that, there are people who respond quickly and others who take longer to see results. Occasionally, with the best efforts on both sides, some people just don’t respond to treatment. Sometimes lifestyle habits might be impacting the effectiveness of the treatment, and sometimes it turns out there’s some other underlying reason that acupuncture can’t help.
What will happen at my first visit?
At the initial consultation, we will spend the first half finding out about your symptoms and gaining an overall picture of your health. In the second half, you will be lying down and relaxing. Your pulse will be assessed at both wrists in several different positions. What is measured is the quantity and quality of blood flow at each different pulse position – this is Chinese pulse taking which is completely different to Western pulse taking where they are measuring the pulse rate. This process helps confirm where to place the needle as it gives information about how the energy is flowing through your body. A Japanese needle technique is then applied of activating each point and then immediately removing the needle before moving onto the next point. Only in special circumstances will the needles be retained.
How many treatments will I need?
Treatment is initially weekly for about six sessions depending on the condition and individual responses to treatment. In some circumstances, it might be more beneficial to come twice a week for the first couple of sessions. Some people only need to come once or twice depending on the condition. Once improvement has stabilised, treatment is reduced anywhere from fortnightly to monthly depending on results to stabilise and continue improvement or maintenance. Some people will need much less than this and others will need much more depending on the condition and the individual responsiveness.
Once symptoms have been alleviated or resolved, you may have noticed other benefits and would like to manage your health preventatively. This could be anything from seasonally to twice a year. If you have stressors in your life such as work, relationships, a chronic health condition, or excessively use stimulants such as coffee, alcohol or sugar, you might like to maintain yourself more regularly such as once a month. In Chinese medicine theory, imbalances can be felt on the pulse long before they turn into a symptom.
Are the needles sterile?
Yes. All needles are stainless steel and disposable. Several needles will be used within the same treatment and then safely disguarded.
Are you covered by heath funds?
All health funds cover me, apart from Bupa.