How can acupuncture help me?
Acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints to more general feelings of ill health and low energy.
It has been specifically been shown to be beneficial for the treatment of migraines, osteo-arthritis and back pain, as well as for assisting fertlity treatments.
How many sessions will I need?
That depends on your individual condition. At first your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once a week. You may start to feel benefits after the first or second treatment although long-standing and chronic conditions may need more time to improve. Once your health has stabilised you may need top-up treatments every few weeks. Traditional acupuncture is also very effective when used as preventive healthcare and many people like to go for a 'retuning' session at the change of each season throughout the year.
Can acupuncture be dangerous?
Acupuncture is not dangerous so long as it is administered by a fully qualified practitioner who will have a detailed knowledge of anatomy and know how deep to needle. Most acupuncture points are just below the skin, so needles are typically only inserted to a depth of 2-3mm.
Are there any side effects from acupuncture?
Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects. Any that do occur are mild and self-correcting. Occasionally there may be minor bruising at the needle point or a short-term flare-up of your symptoms as your qi clears and resettles. One may feel slightly lightheaded or heavy in the body immediately after a treatment, but this quickly disappears after a few minutes.
Can babies and children have acupuncture?
Babies, children and adolescents usually respond very well to acupuncture. Their Qi or energy is very strong and this often makes them more responsive to acupuncture than adults.
Is acupuncture safe in pregnancy?
Acupuncture is safe in pregnancy and can be very effective for treating morning sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other pregnancy related symptoms. It can also be used to prepare for birth and assist induction at the end of pregnancy. There are certain points and areas of the body that are forbidden to use in pregnancy, but a fully qualified practitioner is aware of these.
Is acupuncture available on the NHS?
A few GP practices offer integrated healthcare with complementary therapies including acupuncture and some BAcC members work within GP practices and primary care trusts (PCTs), but this is not yet commonplace.
Does private medical insurance cover the cost of acupuncture?
This depends upon your insurer. Many private health insurance companies are now offering cover for acupuncture. However you should check your individual policy details.