Acupuncture Treatment - What Happens?
Your first consultation
At your first consultation (approx. one hour) I will ask you detailed questions about your condition, your bodily functions, your lifestyle and your medical history. I will feel the pulse at your wrist and examine your tongue. A physical examination may be necessary.
Why do you ask so many questions?
I will not be looking for one or two symptoms in isolation. By detailed questioning and observation I will build up a comprehensive picture of you and the condition of your qi. From this I can formulate a diagnosis. I can then select the appropriate combination of acupuncture points in which to insert the needles. It will also determine whether dietary changes or exercises are necessary, whether a herbal food supplement is appropriate and which supplement you should take.
What does the treatment do?
Acupuncture can correct the flow of qi, and stimulate the body’s own healing response, by inserting needles into specific points on the body which have powerful therapeutic effects. The needles are left in for 10 to 20 minutes.
Do you give advice?
Diet, exercise therapy and life-style advice are an integral part of Chinese medicine and usually form part of the treatment programme.
Does it hurt?
Extremely fine sterile needles are used and the process can be almost painless for most people, though for those who are very sensitive, there may be some discomfort. You may feel some sensation of dullness or heaviness in the area needled. This is normal and indicates that the qi is being activated. It is an important part of the therapeutic process.
How should I prepare for treatment?
Before your treatment you should avoid alcohol and coffee; also foods or drink which colour your tongue. Try not to have a large meal within the hour before your treatment, though you should also avoid coming on an empty stomach. Please wear loose clothing for your appointment. Female patients may find it easier to wear separates.
What should I do after treatment?
After your treatment you may feel particularly calm and perhaps a little light-headed. It is best to avoid planning anything too strenuous for the next couple of hours. It is advisable to avoid alcohol on the day of treatment.
Herbal food supplements
In addition to acupuncture, you may be offered treatment with herbal food supplements, usually prescribed in the form of pills. These are used to help to revitalise the qi and the blood. They support and enhance the effect of acupuncture on the qi, particularly where there is long-term chronic illness.