What to expect from your acupuncture session
Finding out about you
When you come for treatment, we spent a few minutes with what I call ‘housekeeping’ – name, date of birth, address etc. I will then ask you to ‘tell me everything’ – the chance for you to talk through the main issue. I will then ask you LOTS of questions about signs or symptoms you may feel are unrelated to your main issue; they are for me to build a picture of the whole you. I may even ask you what your favourite weather is! Everything is a clue to where the main issue stems from.
Pulse taking and tongue diagnosis
Once I have identified the Chinese Medicine ‘patterns’ – I will take your pulse and look at your tongue – this will add more information to what I have already gathered and/or confirm what I am thinking needs to be done.
On the couch
You will then be asked to lie on the couch. Depending on where I need to put needles will depend what clothing needs to be removed. In most cases, as long I can reach up to your knees, get to your tummy and roll up your sleeves, clothing can stay on.
I will then put in the needles. They are VERY tiny and thin, and you won’t feel them much at all. Sometimes you may get a sensation that feels like tingling, warmth or a slight ache.
The needles I use are all single-use,sterile and disposable. Acupuncture is very safe – the risk of serious adverse reaction is less than 1 in 10,000 (Macpherson et al, 2001.) Sometimes you might feel sleepy after treatment, or a little light headed. These feelings are usually short lived. I usually suggest a nap afterwards if you can!
Once the needles are in you will be left to relax for a short while. This time is important to allow the energy to move and for you to let go of the day’s concerns. After around 20 minutes, I will come back, remove the needles and we’ll talk about the next appointment.
I will have a better idea of how many appointments you will need after I have seen you the first time, but even then it really depends on your condition-the severity, how long you have had it etc. Unlike medication, acupuncture works to return your body back into balance, so is not immediate. That said, most people feel an improvement after the first session. If, in the unlikely event of you not responding to acupuncture, I will tell you if I feel things are not changing.
See you in clinic!