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Frequently Asked Questions

Does it hurt? (The question I always get asked first)

The needles are so thin that you get a tiny prick for the split second they are tapped gently in and you can get what I call a little judder as if a small current surrounds the needle.

When is acupuncture appropriate?

Although acupuncture has been used widely in China for 4000 years for a wide range of treatments, the World Health Organisation says that there are only certain conditions that we in the west can treat.

I suppose the studies into acupuncture cannot definitely say with 100% certainty that it was the needle that caused a person to get better, but you cannot see Qi and you cannot see the meridian lines. Maybe this is hard for a western mind to accept.

Does it work?

Research shows that 70% of people get good results, especially with pain relief. It depends on the client and what works for them. The Chinese look at the whole body as a bit like an onion - there are layers that build up to your symptoms and it is my job to peel back those layers and re-balance you. That may take one session or you may need more regular maintenance. Remember, there is no such thing as a quick fix.

Do you re-use needles?

No - they are all in sterile individual packets opened just before I insert them.

So how does a treatment work?

On your first visit I will need to ask quite a lot of questions that you may feel are unrelated to your problem. I need to look at you as a whole and understand where the root of the problem is. So our first meeting will be a little longer than any subsequent ones. The more honest you are the more effective I can try and be.

Once we have talked I may need to look at you tongue - it is surprising how much the colour and size can tell me. I may also feel your pulse. After that I will decide what needles to use. You may have anything from 2 - 10 needles, but usually at the start it will be up to 4. These will be in for 30 - 40 minutes.

Afterwards you may feel a tad woozy, which can sometimes be a very strong positive effect - especially with pain relief. Very occasionally your symptoms can be exaggerated before improvement, but usually you will feel absolutely fine.

How many treatments will I need?

This depends completely on the type of symptoms you have and why you have come to see me.

You may find that with a muscular issue 1 or 2 sessions will do the trick, but if you come to see me with something more chronic - sleeping issues, for example - it may take a few more. As I say to my massage clients - “If it was a quick fix, I’d be rich”.

What I do promise is that I will give you advice and guidance to help you look after yourself and therefore need me less. If I think I’m not the person for the job or that something else may help you more, then I will tell you.

Copyright Vale Acupuncture 2015