What to expect, when you're expecting acupuncture

Before you start acupuncture, I would like to give you an understanding of what happens in an appointment.

In this post, you can see what will happen before, during, and after an acupuncture session.

I will also look at:

  • Whether I am the right practitioner for you?

  • Can acupuncture definitely help you?

Your health is of the utmost priority and your treatment should reflect this.

I thoroughly recommend you do your research for the right practitioner for you. A list of acupuncturists who belong to the British Acupuncture Council can be found here.

An acupuncturist on that site will be:

  • BSc or BA degree level training or it's equivalent in traditional acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and western biomedical sciences including anatomy, physiology, and pathology (3,600 hours of study)

  • Compliant with current UK health and safety legislation

  • Full medical malpractice and public/products liability insurance cover

If you decide to have a treatment with me, we will have an initial telephone call (free of charge) where we can discuss your main complaint. This conversation is as much for me as it is for you. I believe that the relationship with your practitioner is very important. It can help or hinder your progress. I will also be able to tell you whether I think I can positively help you.

We will discuss a mutually convenient time and to confirm your appointment there will be an email and calendar invite.

  • Terms and conditions will also be sent at this time including costs.

  • A reminder will be sent 36 hours prior to your appointment.

  • To ensure we get the most from your appointment please try and avoid a heavy meal (BUT definitely eat something) or caffeine, 2 hours before the treatment.

Your first appointment will be 1 hour 30 minutes, subsequent appointments will be 1 hour.

For your first appointment, timing will look a little like this:

  • 40 minutes to discuss your main complaint and anything else you'd like treated. We will discuss your priority for each session. So you have an idea of what questions I will ask you can take a look at them here. During this time I will also take a reading of your pulse using Chinese Medicine methods and will observe your tongue.

  • 10 minutes for points to be located and needled. Or if we are not using needles we will use this time for cups, gua sha or moxa; whatever is the most acceptable treatment for your complaint.

  • 20-30 minutes for the needles to be in.

  • 10 minutes for removal of needles / dressed and discussion of further treatment

I would suggest wearing layers, as points may need to be accessed from anywhere on your body. Underwear will remain on at all times and you will be given towels to protect your modesty.

I would advise that after treatment you try and enjoy the remainder of the day, as relaxed as possible.

I would also ask that you try not to drink alcohol within 12 hours of treatment.

We can discuss the regularity of your following appointments. Sometimes, we can solve your complaint in one treatment. But more often we can be looking at more.

I will guide you at the end of the appointment as to what I have been treating and the number of appointments required.

I will send a follow-up email after 24 hours just to check-in. But if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

In that email, I will send you some information that you could maybe try to incorporate into your own lifestyle, based on my diagnosis for you. This could be exercise or food.

Acupuncture is considered to be part of a 3 legged stool. 2 of those legs are yours to own. :)

I really hope that this helps you. I also have a frequently asked questions page where you might find other answers but I am always here for you to ask more questions. Pop me an email, with anything else.


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