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Andrea the acupuncturist

Acupuncture FAQ.

What to expect from acupuncture

Below are some questions that I frequently get asked about what to expect from acupuncture and acupuncture appointments.  I am sure this is not an exhaustive list, so please feel free to always message me if I have not answered your question.

  • How long does acupuncture take to work?
    If you would like to work with me, I require you book in for a minimum of three acupuncture treatments. This allows us to see what your response is to acupuncture and it will indicate how many total treatments you will need. It may also indicate that acupuncture is not the right treatment for you. Depending on those three acupuncture treatments, we will discuss how long we will need to work together. There are a number of factors that we need to consider when evaluating treatment. - Chronicity i.e. how long you have had the condition - How committed you can be to making changes based on my treatment plan. The more you can do, the quicker change will likely. - Complexity - do you have a number of conditions you would like to look at? For an acute muscular-skeletal issue we might be looking at 2-4 sessions. For a chronic condition, the minimum will likely be 6 sessions. The next question is on how frequently? Acupuncture is cumulative, so I will need to see you weekly at the start. Ad hoc or monthly appointments will be not suitable. We will review each time and this is just a guide and it may be more/less. I have written a blog post here about how many acupuncture appointments you will need.
  • How much acupuncture do I need?
    Acupuncture is cumulative, so weekly treatments will be required. We will review at each acupuncture appointment.
  • How long is an acupuncture appointment?
    For our first appointment together it will be 90 minutes. This allows me to take a full consultation, plus treatment. Follow up appointments will be 60 minutes.
  • What is Qi?
    There are many interpretations of Qi. It is everything. From the trees, to animals, to humans, to weather, to breath. Qi can be taken from the food we eat and the breath we take. Which is why both are so important and how you can influence your own.
  • How does acupuncture work?
    Purinergic signalling has been demonstrated to play a central role in such diverse clinical areas as migraines and headaches, immune dysfunction and inflammation, cancer, autism, Alzheimer’s. cardiovascular disease, endocrine function, embryological development. Acupuncture stimulates muscle relaxation and changes in visceral organs. In the brain, acupuncture has been shown to change functional connectivity, decreasing activity in limbic structures associated with stress and illness while improving the regulation of the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis, the primary system that the body uses for regulating hormones and the physiological stress response. Additionally, acupuncture modulates parasympathetic activity, the branch of the nervous system associated with rest, relaxation, digestion and tissue healing. If you would like to read more about this, then you can read my blog post here.
  • What can I help you with?
    I see a majority of complex and chronic conditions ranging from mental health, menstrual health, pain, allergies, skin and other illnesses where Western medicine is not able to support you. Please feel free to give me a call and we can discuss what you are looking to get help with.
  • How much does acupuncture cost?
    Initial consultation: £115 for 90 minutes Follow up sessions: £77 for 60 minutes I offer packages based on prepayment.
  • I'm scared of needles
    Needles are not the only tools I can use. We can use moxa, cups, gua sha.
  • What does my tongue say about my health?
    Your tongue is a key diagnostic tongue. It tells us the history and current state of your body internally. That is why I ask you to not brush it in advance of the appointment.
  • Does acupuncture hurt?
    The insertion of acupuncture needles should not be painful. The needles we use are single-use, sterile and very fine. They are nothing like the needles we see in the doctors office. We are looking for deqi though, which everyone will experience differently. Some people will feel a numbness, some a tiredness, some a heaviness. This feeling indicates that Qi has arrived. If you would like to read more about what you feel in acupuncture, then you can see my blog post here.
  • What happens when you get acupuncture?
    In your initial session, we will do a thorough and whole body discussion. We will discuss your main complaint and take a look at your tongue and I will feel your pulse. This allows me to make an appropriate diagnosis. ​ Once I have made a diagnosis, I will select, palpate and needle the appropriate points to help balance your body. ​ To enable me to select the right points I will ask you to lay or sit down on the treatment couch. I may also need you to remove some items of clothing. Your privacy and modesty will be preserved through towelling techniques. Once treatment starts you can just relax. You will have the needles in for between 20 to 30 minutes. If you would like to read more about what happpens before, during and after acupuncture treatment you can click here to read my blog post.
  • What will an acupuncturist ask me?
    Observations, questioning, palpation are all key diagnostic skills we use in a treatment. This allows us to make a working diagnosis. You are a whole person. Your poo tells me something. Your headaches tell me something. Your insomnia tells me something. Your overthinking tells me something. So I ask a lot of questions. There is a reason behind each question. It means I am honing my diagnosis and I offer no judgement or question to your reply. The more honest you can be, the better I can be. I wrote a blog post about what your body might be telling you here.
  • What to wear for acupuncture
    Please wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. I would suggest loose layers. ​ You may be asked to remove some clothing - underwear will stay on at all times.
  • Can my dog, cat, children be present during treatment?"
    One of the reasons I love coming to you is that you can be comfortable in your own home and you are not having to worry about said dog, cat, child when you leave the house. I love meeting them too. During treatment I would ask that animals and children are not in the room, during treatment. But only because you will have needles in. I cannot risk that one may get knocked inadvertently. You will effectively not be able to move. Also, use this time to relax, repair and rejuvenate.
  • Acupuncture side effect
    I have written a very comprehensive blog post looking at acupuncture side effects, but if you are after the quick answer please see below. In a study conducted in 2005 they found " The most common experiences reported were feeling 'relaxed' (79.1%) followed by feeling 'energised' (32.7%). A total of 24.4% of patients reported 'tiredness' or 'drowsiness', with obvious implications for safety if the patient intended to drive after treatment". It is a good thing I do mobile acupuncture! They also found that "There is strong evidence that acupuncture, when practised by regulated practitioners, is a safe intervention". Another study conducted in 2004, asked 9,408 patients for feedback on reactions that had occurred after acupuncture treatment. Of those 9,408, 6,348 completed the questionnaire with 10.7% of those (682) reporting 1,044 incidences. This means 89.3% or 5,669 people did not suffer any side effects. For the full list, you can see below their rate of incidence (per person). Tiredness or exhaustion - 227 people Pain at site of needling - 103 people Headache or migraine - 77 people Worsening of symptoms - 76 people Drowsiness - 53 people Dizziness or vertigo - 48 people Sleeplessness - 47 people Stiffness or numbness - 41 people Moxibustion burns to skin - 23 people Bruising at needling site - 33 people Skin infection - 23 people Diarrhoea - 23 people Agitation - 22 people Nausea - 22 people Nightmares - 22 people Panic - 16 people Vomiting - 16 people Fainting - 12 people Uncontrolled euphoria - 11 people Disorientation - 7 people Bleeding at needling site - 4 people
  • What should I do after an acupuncture treatment?
    We will discuss my diagnosis, any future appointments and any lifestyle advice which you might follow in between appointments. Try and relax. This is the beauty of a mobile service, when I leave your home you can continue to enjoy that relaxation. I would suggest avoiding alcohol for at least 12 hours after. I will be in touch 24 hours after your appointment to assess how you are feeling, post treatment. I will also give you advice, based on Chinese medicine theory and dignosis that I will ask you to start doing between treatments. The more you take on that advice the better chance of resolving the issue.
  • How is payment made for my acupuncture treatment?
    You can now make your booking online. When booking your appointment you will be charged a 50% deposit. ​ The remaining amount can be paid by cash and card on the day
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