What will happen at my first appointment?
Your first appointment will include a consultation and will take up to an hour and a half. Depending on the complexity of your complaint, a number of diagnositic techniques will be used which may include looking at your tongue as well as taking your pulse. From this information, an individual (Chinese Medicine) diagnosis is made.
Acupuncture points are then selected and fine single use sterile needles are inserted into the points.
You will then be left to relax with the needles in for up to 30mins. Many patients sleep during their treatment!
Where will the needles go?
There are literally hundreds of points all over the head and body, each with their own action. However, in Balance Method acupuncture (used at Core Acupuncture) most of the points used are from elbow down and knee down. As a golden rule, needles are not used in the area of pain. It is possible to bring about changes in one area of the body by needling a different part of the body due to the way all the meridians are interconnected.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments on offer in the UK.
The risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture was estimated by the British Medical Journal in 2001 as 1 in 10,000. This was following two independently conducted surveys totalling 66,000 treatments. This is far less than orthodox medical treatments. A further survey in 2003 of 6,000 patients also only identified a handful of minor transient side effects.
Any side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around the needle site are mild and self correcting.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture should not be painful. The needles used are very fine and therefore not felt in the same way as hospital needles. Some patients experience and dull ache or tingling sensation on the needles but a sharp type pain is not normal. When treating pain, the area of pain is avoided when selecting points.
Most people find acupuncture pleasant and relaxing.
Can I get acupuncture free on the NHS?
The body of evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture is growing and more and more Western medical doctors are recognising acupuncture as a useful and cost effective addition to their treatments.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) have included the use of acupuncture in their reviews of treatment options for a range of conditions in recent years. Currently they recommend acupuncture for the treatment of migraine and tension headaches on the NHS.
The reality is that in the Hull area there is a very limited availability of acupuncture on the NHS although many patients are encouraged by their doctors to seek acupuncture. Most health plans and insurance companies cover the cost of acupuncture so it is worth checking with your provider and asking for a receipt if you can make a claim.
Jane is aware that the cost of ongoing treatment can add up and also runs a low cost clinic to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from acupuncture. To find out more about this low cost option please visit Hull and East Yorkshire Community Acupuncture.
What should I wear?
The style of acupuncture used at Core Acupuncture usually uses points on the lower legs and feet as well as forearms and hands. It is therefore ideal if clothes can be rolled up to elbow and knees. It may be necessary to remove tight fitting clothes for comfort or ease of access to the acupuncture points.
Above all you need to be comfortable.
How many treatments will I need?
This varies from patient to patient and is influenced by many factors including the nature of the condition, the duration of the symptoms, the lifestyle of the patient as well as individual responsiveness to acupuncture.
Acupuncture is never a one off quick fix. It is always necessary to complete a course of treatment to achieve meaningful, lasting results. Treatments have an accumulative effect and regular (usually weekly) treatments are needed to build up the treatment before treatments can be spaced out or reduced to maintainance treatments.
As a general guide, patients are encouraged to stay with it for 5-6 treatments before evaluating the effectiveness of treatment and planning ongoing management.