Frequently Asked Questions
Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
It is used in many NHS GP practices, as well as in most pain clinics and hospices in the UK.
How does acupuncture work?
Fine sterile needles are inserted at certain sites, called acupuncture points. They stimulate sensory nerves and tissues under the skin and in the muscles.This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It's likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture.
- In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.
- Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.
Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy flows through the body in channels or meridians. This life force is called Qi. A disturbance of free flow of Qi in the body can lead to the reason for illness and pain. Restoring this flow leads to better health.
Does acupuncture hurt?
It is normal to be apprehensive before having a treatment. You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted but you should not experience any significant pain. The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time.
What can I except from the treatment?
An acupuncture session usually lasts 45 minutes and involves an assessment of your general health, medical history and a physical examination, followed by insertion of very fine acupuncture needles. The needles stay for 20-30min, which is often relaxing as you are not aware of the needles.
Is it COVID-19 safe?
All clinics are Covid 19 secure and strict hygiene measures are in place. Please bring a face mask.
What do I need to wear or bring?
Loose fitting clothes and trousers are more comfortable and you might be ask to remove some items to access an area, where the acupuncture points are.
What can I expect after treatment?
Acupuncture is a safe treatment, but sometimes light-headedness can be experience. The area used might be aching or be slightly bruised, which is often short lasting.