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Treatments

There is lots to explore within the world of acupuncture treatments. I've summarised some of the most common questions below, but please do get in touch if you can't find what you're looking for or you have any other questions.

Wild Berries

about treatments

Who can benefit?

Anyone is welcome to come for treatment. Some people come wanting help with a specific issue, such as joint pain or headaches; others just want to feel better in themselves but can’t pinpoint exactly what is not right. The treatment room is a safe, confidential, non-judgmental space where we can work together to reach the best possible outcome for you.

 

To see a list of specific conditions shown to benefit from acupuncture please visit www.acupuncture.org 

what actually happens during a treatment?

Chinese medicine aims to treat the whole of you rather than just your presenting symptoms, and always looks to find the root causes of any problems. A treatment therefore begins with a detailed discussion of any symptoms, and a look at your more general health, lifestyle, and medical/family histories. I will look at your tongue and take your pulses at both wrists (important diagnostically in Chinese medicine) and come up with a selection of acupuncture points to needle which are specific to you on that particular day. (Another person with the same presenting condition (eg. headaches) might be needled with a completely different set of points because their background health is very different to yours.)

 

For the needling, you will lie on a treatment couch and I will insert approximately 12-15 single-use, sterile needles into different locations across your body. You can then relax quietly for 15-20 minutes while the needles do their work. Afterwards I will remove and safely dispose of the needles.

other treatment modalities

Depending on your condition, I might supplement the needling with either:

Gua sha - a traditional Chinese massage technique using a small tool and massage oil to ease muscles and bring blood and qi to an area

Electroacupuncture - a low-level electric current is passed into the needles using a small TENS machine, which gently stimulates an area, for example a stiff knee joint. The sensation is like little champagne bubbles popping!

DOES it work?

Acupuncture has been used by millions of people for thousands of years, in China and worldwide. In recent decades scientific evidence has also been growing and more and more high-quality clinical trials or acupuncture therapy are being conducted. For factsheets about the latest acupuncture research and to see details of specific conditions shown to benefit from acupuncture,  you can go to www.acupuncture.org

your experience

is it safe?

Yes. The risk of adverse events is extremely low. The needles used are single-use and sterile. High standards of hygiene are maintained in the treatment room and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned between patients. Acupuncture can also safely be used throughout pregnancy. 

does it hurt?

Acupuncture should not be painful. The needles are approximately 1/4mm in diameter, much thinner than hollow-bore needles that are used for vaccinations and blood tests - most people do not feel their insertion. You may however feel a dull ache around the needle, or a tingling, warmth or fizziness as the qi is activated.

are there any side effects?

Usually there are no side effects. Occasionally a small bruise can appear where a needle has been inserted. Sometimes people feel dizzy or tired after a treatment, but this should soon dissipate. If you experience anything untoward that you feel may be related to your treatment, please contact me straight away.

Pricing and duration

How much does it cost?

At CCHC all practitioners charge the same for their treatments, which is £55 for an hour. Lower rates can be negotiated if you are unwaged or experiencing financial hardship.

How long do treatments last?

Treatments last one hour, of which approximately 20-30 minutes is used for listening and discussion, and 30-40 minutes for needling.

How many treatments will I need?

The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, a bit like changing your diet or starting an exercise programme. Although sometimes a condition can improve markedly in one or two sessions, usually a course of 4-6 treatments is recommended. We will then review your progress and discuss the next steps.

can the nhs or my health insurer pay for it?

Some GPs can refer patients for acupuncture for the NICE_recommended conditions of back pain, migraine and headaches - a good first step is to check whether this would apply to you. Many health insurance policies will cover a course of acupuncture treatment. To find out whether you may be covered you should check directly with your provider.

getting the most from your treatment

can i help myself between treatments?

Yes! Chinese medicine has much valuable wisdom about living and eating well and tailoring it to be manageable and appropriate for each individual. We can look together (with no judgement) at your lifestyle and diet, and see whether there are any adjustments that might benefit your condition. This often leads to much faster progress, but don't worry if you aren't ready to take these steps - we can work through it together.

what should i wear?

It can be helpful to wear loose-fitting clothing that can easily be rolled up to your knees and elbows to access acupuncture points. I will usually need to ask you to take your shoes and socks off. If any other clothes need to be removed or turned back, I will use a towel to cover you so that your modesty and dignity are preserved throughout.

should i tell my doctor?

It is always good to let your doctor know that you are receiving acupuncture, particularly if you are taking medication. Likewise you should let me know about any medication and other treatments you are currently having. Full communication allows everyone involved to give you the best possible care.

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