Acupuncture – What to Expect
At the first appointment I will take a full medical history – asking about your symptoms, health history, diet, sleep, occupation, lifestyle, general energy and well-being – and the first treatment. I use the Chinese diagnostic methods of feeling the pulse and looking at the tongue. The details of your consultation are completely confidential.
How many treatments will I need?
The amount of treatment needed depends mainly on the nature of the condition, the length of time that is has been there and the individual’s constitution and age. Generally speaking a problem of short duration will need less treatments than a long term, chronic condition. Some problems will resolve in 3-4 treatments or less, whereas others take longer. Sometimes people like to come once a month or every six weeks for a maintenance or top-up treatment.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, designed to be painless and nothing like needles that are used for injections or to take blood. They are made of high quality stainless steel, are sterilised, pre-packaged and disposed of after the treatment. People generally find that acupuncture needles are virtually painless.
The needles are left in place for 15-30 minutes. You may experience a tingling or a dull ache when the needle is inserted and commonly a pleasant feeling of relaxation during a treatment.
If you are afraid or unsure about having acupuncture, or feel it is not for you, it may be possible to work with tuina – Chinese massage – see below.
Moxibustion, Tuina massage and Cupping
Tuina massage, moxibustion and cupping are part of an acupuncturists repertoire and where appropriate may be included in a treatment, with the client’s consent.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using the herb mugwort (moxa) to gently warm areas or acupuncture points. It plays an important role in the medical systems of China, Tibet, Mongolia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
Tuina Massage Tuina (pronounced twee-nah) is a Chinese form of massage that like acupuncture uses meridians and acupuncture points, but with hands rather than needles. As with acupuncture it can be used to treat systemically as well as for localised problems. Tuina is generally done through the clothes.
Oil-based massage I can also use Swedish, oil-based massage where there is a localised problem, but otherwise I offer acupuncture and massage as separate treatments.
Cupping, a technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the use of glass cups to create suction over an area of the skin to increase circulation and relieve pain.