Frequently asked questions
What happens at my first appointment?
I will ask questions about your condition, such as how and when it started, what makes it better and worse and what medications you are currently taking. If you are coming to fix an injury, I will then conduct an assessment of your movements, strength and posture.
If you are coming for acupuncture I will diagnose you from a Chinese Medicine perspective and will ask questions about your general health and well-
Do I need a referral from my GP?
No – you can refer yourself to have physiotherapy and/or acupuncture however you may want to discuss it with your GP. If I need to contact your GP regarding your care, you will be asked for permission.
How long will my appointment be?
First appointments are normally 45 -
Reviews are usually 45 minutes
What should I wear?
I will need to look at the problem area as well as the area above and below, so shorts are ideal for any leg or back problems and sleeveless tops for arm problems. Generally loose fitting clothes that can be moved out of the way are best.
How many sessions will I need?
This will depend on how long you have had the problem and how severe it is. I will be able to discuss this with you on the first appointment. If your condition is particularly severe it may take more than one or two sessions for you to feel a difference, for example if you are coming for acupuncture due to fertility issues, you may need 3 months of regular treatment.
Acupuncture has traditionally been used to maintain well-
How often will I need to be seen?
Again this depends on your particular condition. You may need to be seen once or twice a week to start with and then as things improve you may need to come less frequently.
Can someone come with me to my appointment?
Yes, of course. However, if you bring children, please ensure you have something to entertain them as you are undergoing treatment.
How can I pay?
At the moment I can only accept cash or cheque. Card payments can be taken at Neal’s Yard Remedies.
Can I use my healthcare insurance?
You will need to contact your insurance company before booking appointments. I can provide receipts for you to claim back the cost of your treatments. BUPA and Prudential allow their clients to receive acupuncture with practitioners who are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists which I am.
What happens if I don’t get better?
Some conditions do not respond to physiotherapy or acupuncture. If this applies to you, I will discuss this with you and if appropriate I will ask your permission to contact your GP as you may need a referral to another specialist.
Who has acupuncture?
Many people come for acupuncture to help with a specific condition or problem. Other people choose acupuncture as a preventative measure to as they feel generally unwell or to strengthen their constitution. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages and it can be very effective when combined with conventional medicine.
What does acupuncture feel like?
Most people find acupuncture very relaxing and you may even find yourself drifting off to sleep! The needles used are very different to needles used in injections and you may not even feel the needle at all. Once the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling feeling or a dull ache. This is a sign that your vital energy, also known as qi, has been stimulated. If you find treatment painful at any time, let me know and I will either move or remove the needle so that you are not in pain.
What should I eat or drink before and after acupuncture?
It is useful to have a light meal a few hours before your session but avoid large meals within an hour of your appointment as you may need to lie on your stomach. Try and avoid alcohol and any food and drink that colours your tongue such as strong tea or coffee.
After you acupuncture session you should drink plenty of fluids and have a light meal. You should also avoid any strenuous activity and try and relax.
Are there any side effects of acupuncture?
Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects. There may be some minor bruising at the needle site or a short flare-
Other side effects can include feeling relaxed, which in today’s world is no bad thing!
Should I still take my prescribed medications whilst I’m having acupuncture?
Yes. Acupuncture may help you decrease or even stop some forms of medications but you should always discuss this with your GP before changing any medications. Please DO NOT stop taking your medications without consulting your GP.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments, both conventional and complementary on offer in the UK.
Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. This is far less than many orthodox medical treatments.
When you receive treatment from a British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) registered acupuncturist (which I am) you can be confident that your wellbeing and safety is at the heart of everything your practitioner does. The following assurances are BAcC standard: