Facts and Questions
Who has acupuncture?
Who has acupuncture?
Many people come to Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) for help with specific symptoms or conditions and some because they feel generally unwell. Others chose acupuncture to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for people of all ages. It can also be used alongside conventional western medicine.
How many sessions will I need?
Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt after 5 treatments, although occasionally only 1 or 2 treatments are required. Some patients may need treatment over several months or long-term. Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week at first.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture has a very sound track record. British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) Codes of Professional Conduct and Safe Practice set the standard for safe practice in the UK. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. Reponses to treatment vary and can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness and on occasion minor bruising may occur. However all such reactions are short-lived.
Is there a difference between TCA and the medical acupuncture treatment I receive from my GP or physiotherapist?
TCA is based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,500 years. Acupuncture is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental, to be a sign the whole body is out of balance. Western or medical acupuncture is a more recent development practiced predominantly by doctors and physiotherapists. They use acupuncture techniques within their existing scope of practice on the basis of a western medical diagnosis. This means they usually only treat the symptoms.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and they are solid not hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or a dull ache. The sensation is a very positive indicator and although it may be a little uncomfortable, it usually passes in seconds. Most people find the treatment to be quite relaxing and some may even fall asleep.
Should I tell my doctor?
If you have been prescribed medication it makes sense to tell your doctor you are planning to have acupuncture. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as it may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.