What happens in an acupuncture treatment?

A first acupuncture appointment takes around 90 minutes. I’ll do a detailed consultation with you, to help me fully understand your health, your condition and your history. I’ll also take your pulse and look at your tongue to help diagnosis. If you take any prescribed medications, please bring a packet of each medication with you to this first consultation.

Treatment is based on your consultation, and involves the insertion of tiny, very fine, filiform needles into the body. We can usually carry out a treatment as part of this initial consultation – although it does depend on how much talking we do!

I don’t like needles – can you still help me?

Following your first appointment, I’ll work with you to plan your treatment tailored to your individual health needs – the recommended number of treatments, the frequency of those treatments, and any additional health advice based on what we’ve discussed in your consultation.

A regular acupuncture treatment normally takes about an hour. We’ll talk about your progress, look at your tongue and listen to your pulse, then I’ll select acupuncture points according to your symptoms and progress.

Once the needles are inserted, you can relax (please feel free to fall asleep!) for 15 minutes, and after this the needles are removed. I use only single-use, sterile-packaged needles that are disposed of safely, immediately after use.

With your consent, I may also use some or all of these additional therapies:

  • cupping (an ancient Chinese technique using glass ‘suction cups’ on the surface of the skin to work muscle and relieve pain);
  • moxibustion (a technique of burning a Chinese herb close to the skin to warm areas of your body and stimulate the immune system);
  • An Mou Rou, a Chinese massage cream that warms muscles and stimulates blood flow (I formulate this myself using organic ingredients);
  • a TDP heat lamp (a ‘far-infrared’ device) to increase microcirculation and accelerate skin healing;
  • ear seeds, tiny ‘retained’ seeds or magnets applied to acu-points on the ear, that you can activate whenever you like between your treatments.

A normal course of treatment in acupuncture is around six to eight treatments, depending on the severity of your condition and how long you’ve had it. Most patients begin to notice a difference within one to three treatments.

There are very few negative side-effects from acupuncture; any that do occasionally occur, such as drowsiness or slight bruising around the needles, are mild and self-correcting. Most people feel a sense of deep relaxation and calmness after every session. Sometimes you may get a flare-up of symptoms before improvement happens – this is known as a ‘healing crisis’ and is a positive sign indicating that your body is responding to treatment.

If you ever have any concerns about any reaction to acupuncture, don’t forget you can always call me on 07582 234578 or email me on karen@acutu.co.uk.

You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for an acupuncture treatment – although it helps if you can eat a light meal a couple of hours before a treatment, and are wearing loose, comfortable clothing that you can remove or roll up easily.

If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can help you, please book a £10 half-hour taster session for acupuncture. You can either book online, or call on 07582 234578.