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Who is Traditional Acupuncture suitable for?

Many people come for acupuncture for help with specific conditions or symptoms. Others come because they want to increase their overall energy levels, to strengthen their constitution or to improve their sense of wellbeing.

Acupuncture can be of particular help to people at certain times in their lives, such as during times of change or stress, through the menopause or pregnancy. As a gentle holistic treatment, it is suitable for all ages, including babies and children, and can be safely used alongside conventional medicine.

What happens when I come for treatment?

The first appointment will be longer than usual – up to 1 ½ hours. You will be asked about your health history in detail and about your sleep, appetite, medication and so on. Subsequent appointments are usually around 45 minutes.

The acupuncturist will check the pulses on both wrists and also look at your tongue, all of which give valuable diagnostic information. You may also be given a short physical examination at the first appointment.

The treatment plan will then be discussed with you and your consent sought for the proposed treatment. The acupuncture points and any other treatment selected will be based on this plan.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very fine and insertion does not usually hurt. Sensations described as tingling, pins and needles or a dull ache, may be felt as the needles are manipulated, which pass after a few seconds.

Needles may be retained for up to 20 minutes or longer if necessary, or they may be inserted and removed quickly, as required by the treatment plan.

Is it safe?

Acupuncture has a long track record and treatment is very safe. Needles are single-use, sterile and disposable.

All British Acupuncture Council members abide by a very strict code of conduct and are fully insured.

Acupuncture premises and practitioners are also required to be registered with their local health authority and follow their byelaws regarding health and safety.

How many sessions will I need?

The number and frequency of appointments will depend on the diagnosis and treatment plan agreed with you. Typically, you will be seen weekly for the first 3 or 4 treatments and the plan will then be reviewed. It may take a few treatments before any change is felt, although occasionally people will feel better sooner.

Some patients require long term treatment. Others decide to continue to have regular maintenance treatment once their main complaint has been resolved, maybe once a month or seasonally.

What should I wear?

You may be asked to remove items of clothing for examination and treatment, or simply to roll up your trousers or sleeves. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Blankets and examination gowns are available if necessary.

Does my health insurance cover acupuncture?

As acupuncture is becoming more popular in the UK, some private health insurers now cover acupuncture. Please check with your insurer.

Should I tell my doctor?

If you have been prescribed medication it is recommended you tell your doctor you are planning on having acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication or supplement you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. Please bring a list of your current medication.

BAcC acupuncturists are trained to recognise any potentially serious underlying health conditions and may refer you to your GP if appropriate.