Q: Who has acupuncture?
A: Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose acupuncture as a preventive measure to strengthen their constitution, or because they just feel generally unwell. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children. It can be used alongside conventional medicine. Please see my patient case history blog on how patients benefitted from having acupuncture.
Q: What happens during consultation and treatment?
A: You will be asked about your current symptoms, what treatment you have received, you medical history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. The acupuncturist will also ask to see picture of your tongue to help with your diagnosis. Please tell your acupuncturist have the names of any medication you may be on, medical reports and blood results during your consultation. It would be really useful to have a think about all the signs and symptoms that are related to your issue and inform your practitioner. The acupuncture points used during treatment may not always close to the point of the body where you experience the problem.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Acupuncture has a very sound track record. The needles used are single- use, sterile and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and on occasion minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short- lived.
Q: What does it feel like?
A: Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injection and blood tests. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or strong pressure.
Q: How many sessions will I need?
A: Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt after three treatments, although occasionally only one or two treatments are required. Patients who are able to make changes to diet, lifestyle and exercise routine tends to require less sessions.
Q: How long will my treatment be?
A: Initial telephone consultation will take around 30 minutes. Subsequent follow up acupuncture treatments will be 30 minutes approx.
Q: Do I need to bring anything with me?
A: It is best to wear lose fitting clothes that are comfortable to lie down in. Please bring a towel or blanket to keep warm during cold season.
Q: Should my doctor know?
A: If you have been prescribed medication it makes sense to tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment and any side effects from your medication can be taken into account.
Q: Anything I should do and avoid prior to my acupuncture treatment?
A: Please have breakfast and do not consume alcohol prior to treatments.
Q: Who may not be able to have it?
A: Due to the slight risk of bleeding, people with bleeding disorders, such as haemophilia (where blood is unable to clot) may not be able to have acupuncture. People who take medicines that prevent the blood clotting, called anticoagulants, also may not be able to have acupuncture. If you have a blood disorder, or you are taking medicine that prevents blood clots, talk to your GP before you have acupuncture. It is generally safe to have acupuncture when you are pregnant, but you should let your acupuncturist know beforehand. This is because certain acupuncture points cannot be used safely during pregnancy.
Q: When should I arrive for my appointment?
A: Please arrive on time for your appointment time to allow social distancing practice. If you are early for your appointment, please wait in the car or by the front door as there is no waiting facility due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Q: Privacy and General Date Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Patients are required to complete a simple registration form capturing basic personal information such as name, address, contact number, email, registered GP practice as well as relevant medical history. This information is used to identify and communicate with patient and send herbal medicine prescription when required. It is encrypted and stored securely for seven years under section 8 of the BAcC Code of Professional Conduct and will not be shared with any third party. In the case of patients under 18 years of age, records are kept until the patient reaches the age of twenty-five (seven years after reaching eighteen).
Written consent must be supplied by patient when requesting clinical information to be shared with other medical professional or insurance company. Patient consent will be sought to assist NHS test and trace before attending appointment.
Q: Can I get Chinese herbal medicine with virtual consultation?
A: The law as stated in Human Medicines Regulations (2012) does not make provision for the sale of herbal medicines by means of video or telephone consultation, therefore a face to face appointment is required. For patients fall under the clinically vulnerable group, this can be done with patient sitting in their car in the clinic car park by pre- arranged appointment.