Origins

Traditional acupuncture forms a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine where the basis of diagnosis and treatment is that the mind and body should be in perfect balance.
This ancient system of healing has developed over 2,500 years originating in China and other far Eastern cultures. It is a gentle and effective treatment that focuses on helping the whole person, aiming to improve their entire health and wellbeing and today is widely used and accepted all over the world.

Your first acupuncture treatment

This video clip by acupuncture practitioner Deb Connor describes what happens in a treatment.
Before having an acupuncture treatment it is advisable to follow a few simple steps to ensure you get the most out of your session:
Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Coffee, strong tea or fizzy drinks all contain caffeine which is a stimulant. Although they can make you feel more alert and energised, caffeine can increase your heart rate. This means it can be harder for the acupuncturist to get accurate readings on your pulse and you may not feel the full benefit of treatment.

Food

Try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse, and you may need to lie on your front. Similarly make sure you don't turn up on an empty stomach as it may make you feel light headed.
Timings: Avoid booking an appointment before something strenuous or before a night out as that can be counter productive to the treatment.

Clothing

It is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes so that the acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible.

Consultation

Your acupuncturist will do a full diagnostic consultation asking questions about your medical history including all aspects of your health and wellbeing. Your acupuncturist will also look at your tongue and feel your pulses on both wrists. This comprehensive diagnostic consultation allows the practitioner to create a bespoke treatment plan including lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions required will depend entirely on the individual patient and the condition. Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week at first. Some change is usually felt within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient.

How can acupuncture help me?

A list of the types of conditions for which patients seek acupuncture treatment can be found here on the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.

Some people use acupuncture as a preventative measure or because they just generally feel unwell or low in energy. People say that acupuncture gives them more energy, greater confidence, restful sleep, a more normal appetite and an overall sense of well being.

Acupuncture works by bringing the body's energy back into balance and boosts the natural healing process. Very fine needles are inserted into selected points in the body. People often ask if this is painful. Most people find that it does not hurt. This is because the needles are extremely fine and they are inserted so quickly that only a dull ache is felt for one or two seconds. Only sterilised disposable needles are used.