Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions I get asked frequently about acupuncture and the other treatments I offer.

If you also have a question then it is likely covered here. If not, please do feel free to get in contact by either phone or email and I will be happy to answer your question.

What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture needles are not the same as hypodermic needles used in surgeries, they are microfine thin and depending on where they are used in the body either can be felt as minute pinprick at first on insertion or often barely felt at all. On occasion when it is necessary to use points at the hands or feet, they are felt more initially but within a matter of seconds, this fades away. (As there are 365 points to select from in total it is possible to avoid using these if a patient is very sensitive.

The intention of the needling is to effect the energy of the meridian it is inserted into, which travels along the vertical lines of the body so it is very good to hear when the patient says they can sense a light tingling emanating from the point up the body as this indicates the energy is moving and producing the desired effect and in Chinese terms is known as De-Qi.

There are other feelings that sometimes occur and can build around one or more of the needles as they remain in for 20 minutes can be either a mild dull ache, an electric sensation, a slight heaviness as the energy builds or warmth in the surrounding area, all being forms of energy or Qi having their effect. During the time the needles are in and working the patient becomes quite relaxed and calm and may even fall asleep.

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

Continuing clinical research is providing evidence of how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health illnesses such as overactive bladder, menstruation irregularities or digestive issues to name a few, it is widely accepted as a treatment to relieve muscular aches and pains like low back pain, TMJ, Knee and elbow pain and headaches.

Some people come for acupuncture when they are having problems with western medicine that is not fulfilling all aspects of the illness they are being treated for or they are suffering from side effects of the prescription drugs or procedures as acupuncture is a safe complimentary medicine that works well in combination with western medicine.

Others come for regular treatments for stress relief and general tune up or in preparation for the body to cope with the change of seasons.

Should I tell my doctor I am having acupuncture?

It is always advisable to let your doctor know you are having treatments if you are currently seeing the doctor for the or any other illness as well.

Although acupuncture is not a contraindication of any illness being treated as it is solely based on energetic medicine, therefore, is accepted as being complementary to western medicine.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments, both conventional and complementary on offer in the UK.

Are there any side effects to having acupuncture?

Acupunctures greatest forte is that it is founded on the premise of being a natural holistic medicine, therefore unlike prescription medicine, there is no list of side effects like that accompanying prescription drugs. On a rare occasion, a small bruise may develop at the site of the needle if a small capillary vein is hidden and caught and sometimes patients can feel lightheaded or tired after a treatment, but this soon passes.

How many sessions will I need?

A course of treatments is generally required with improvements showing between each session, some symptoms may be relieved in one or two sessions.

The duration of treatments depends on how long the patient has had the illness and the underlying constitution of each individual patient.

Generally, an acute condition, which is a recent illness that came on suddenly shows greater improvements with fewer sessions and Chronic long-term illness that came on gradually requires building up the body’s core energies first then with gradual improvements taking place from the start and in between sessions.

Initially weekly or sometimes twice-weekly sessions are advisable for acute conditions and then fortnightly, moving on to monthly or every couple of months ideally once symptoms have improved for long term chronic conditions.

What happens at the initial consultation?

The medical history, a general health questionnaire and consent form are required before the first treatment at the same appointment, it is not necessary but helpful to bring any medical paperwork for any previous tests and a record of any medication being taken.

How can I be prepared for my appointment?

It is not necessary to bring anything. Except at your initial consultation as detailed above.

It is helpful to wear loose clothing so clothes can be moved to gain access to the needling location.

It is not advised to eat a heavy meal an hour before your treatment or to have coffee or foods that would discolour the tongue surface an hour before either.

Can I drive and what should I do or not do after a treatment?

Post-treatment it is perfectly safe to drive unless very rarely there is a feeling of dizziness where it will be necessary to sit and rest for a brief period, drink water and have something to eat.

Amanda sees that every patient is fine and will assist with provisions for this if needed before leaving.

Please do not consume alcohol for 24 hours after your treatment and do not have an intense workout or any over strenuous activity that day.

It would be beneficial to be good to yourself every day but particularly on treatment day to eat healthy foods to assist the rebalancing of the body’s energies. A nap is always good too if possible if you are feeling a little tired as the rest helps the body concentrate on the healing process.

Do I continue with my current medication whilst having acupuncture?

Yes certainly, as you progress with the treatment you may find that medical tests reveal you can lower your dosage or find eventually you can stop taking it altogether, but this is always with the doctor’s discretion and approval.

Will my Private medical insurance cover the treatment costs?

Some providers offer full or partial coverage for your acupuncture treatment.

Importantly please check with your provider before starting your treatment to make sure you are covered. Amanda’s professional association is with the British Acupuncture Council. The health insurance providers that cover (fully or partially) British Acupuncture Council Members are below.

Still check with your provider, if you do not see your provider’s details below as more providers are deciding to cover acupuncture due how effective it can be.

Please be aware Amanda is not linked to any particular Private health Insurance companies and will not be able to claim the fees from them herself this would need to arranged by the patient and their providers before treatments can be given and payment to Amanda made by arrangement , please contact Amanda if you need any assistance with this.

Private Health Insurance providers that cover British Acupuncture Council Members

  • Aviva Healthcare
  • Benenden Healthcare Society
  • BHSF
  • BUPA
  • Cigna
  • C S Healthcare
  • Engage Mutual Insurance
  • Exeter Family Friendly
  • General & Medical Healthcare
  • Groupama Healthcare
  • Health Shield
  • HSF
  • Medicash
  • National Friendly
  • PHSA
  • PruHealth
  • Sovereign Health Care
  • Simply Health
  • Universal Provident
  • Westfield
  • WHA
  • WHCA
  • WPA
  • Health-on-line
  • Insurety
  • Saga
  • Secure Health

If you cannot see your question, please contact Amanda as she is always happy to answer any queries you may have.

For further information, please visit https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/

The British Acupuncture council have a very informative website with a wide range of further information including a menu tab of ‘Top 10 things to know about acupuncture’ and a ‘Research’ tab for a database of clinical trials of acupuncture covering an extensive range of conditions.

If you cannot see your question, please contact Amanda as she is always happy to answer any queries you may have.

For further information available on the internet please see www.Britishacupuncturecouncil.co.uk.

The British Acupuncture council have a very informative website with a wide range of further information including a menu tab of ‘Top 10 things to know about acupuncture’ and a ‘Research’ tab for a database of clinical trials of acupuncture covering an extensive range of conditions.

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