This will depend very much on you and what you want to get out of your treatment. For some people benefits can be felt almost immediately, whilst for others improvement is more gradual.
Each session builds on the previous treatment. Some people feel they have achieved what they wanted after a short course of treatment. Others may want to pursue deeper levels of healing and to continue with regular treatment for a little longer. Many people choose to attend for maintenance sessions. These may be given every 3–12 weeks at your discretion.
In Five-Element Acupuncture the needles are usually inserted and then immediately removed. Occasionally, qualities on the pulses indicate the need for needles to be left in for between 5–20 minutes.
Acupuncture is perfectly safe to use in combination with conventional medicine.
Some patients seek treatment in order to reduce dependence on medicines prescribed by their consultant or GP. I am always happy to liaise with other healthcare professionals if you would like me to do so.
Your first appointment is likely to last between one and a half and two hours. This is in order to allow time for a full examination of your past medical history and present state of health. Subsequent treatments will last up to one hour, but the exact length of time will vary from patient to patient.
My charge for an initial consultation is £55. After this, the cost is £43 per session.
Reactions vary from patient to patient, but the most you are likely to feel when the needle is inserted is a momentary tingling sensation. It is important to remember that acupuncture needles are thinner than a human hair and quite different from the type of hypodermic used by doctors or nurses for injections or for taking blood samples.
If you would like to try acupuncture but are worried by the idea of needles, it might be best to come for an initial chat first.
After acupuncture treatment, you may feel tired or a little drowsy. If you feel sleepy, it is best to avoid driving/using machinery until the effects have worn off.
Other reactions may include mild headache, feeling faint and (rarely) allergic skin reactions. In the short term, you may notice a worsening of the condition for which you originally sought treatment. Although discouraging at first, this can be a good sign, as improvement nearly always follows.
Serious side-effects from acupuncture are very rare – less than one case in every 10,000 treatments. Unlike some drug-based therapies, there is no risk of dependency.
As a trained practitioner, I take proper care with every patient. Depending on your case history, it is sometimes necessary to avoid certain points or types of treatment. Please let me know if any of the following apply to you:
- You are, or think you may be, pregnant.
- You are taking anticoagulant medication.
- You have valvular or other heart disease.
- You have epilepsy, cancer, or wear a pacemaker.