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FAQs

Can anyone have acupuncture?
 
Some people come for acupuncture because they have specific conditions or injuries, and others come simply because they feel tired or unwell. Other people come to maintain their good health or for a seasonal pick-me-up. Acupuncture is suitable for people of all ages including children and pregnant women. Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional medicine. Your practitioner will discuss your specific condition with you and address any concerns you may have about whether treatment is suitable for you. Jo is happy to have a telephone conversation with you to discuss whether acupuncture is right for you.
 

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What happens during treatment?
 
A full medical history will be taken during which you will be asked questions about your symptoms, your medical history, your diet and lifestyle, daily functions such as digestion and sleep, and questions about your mood and energy levels. Jo will also use traditional Chinese diagnostic tools including looking at your tongue and taking your pulses on both wrists. Acupuncture points will be chosen according to your symptoms and may be located on many different parts of the body. Needles will be gently inserted into various acupuncture points.
 

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How does acupuncture work?
 
Acupuncture has been shown to raise the levels of endorphins within the body which act as natural painkillers. Acupuncture also affects the central nervous system and can lead to feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. Acupuncturists will refer to channels or meridians which run through the body and will use acupuncture needles to promote the smooth flow of energy or 'qi' along these channels. This smooth flow of qi allows the body to become healthy and to resist disease.
 

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Does acupuncture hurt?
 
Acupuncture needles are fine and solid, quite unlike the hollow hypodermic needles used in hospitals for injections and blood tests. The end of an acupuncture needle is 'bullet' shaped, quite different from the hypodermic needle which is hollow and bevelled. The needle is inserted painlessly into the skin and then gently manipulated until a sensation is felt which is often described as a dull ache or mild tingling. Patients are usually surprised by how painless the experience is.
 

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What is moxibustion?
 
Moxibustion is a treatment often used alongside the insertion of needles where the herb Chinese mugwort is burnt either on the end of a needle or directly on the patient's skin. This does not burn the skin, but instead produces a gentle heat which is relaxing and warming. Your practitioner will discuss this treatment with you if it is suitable for your condition.
 
back & moxa photo
 
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What is cupping?
 
Cupping is a treatment where fire is used to create a vacuum within glass cups which are then placed on the skin. This treatment is often used for the relief of muscle pain and at the beginning of a cold or flu. Your practitioner will discuss this treatment with you if it is necessary for your condition.
 
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How many sessions will I need?
 
Frequency of treatment will depend on your individual condtion. Jo is happy to hold a brief telephone consultation to advise you on how much treatment you are likely to need. Occassionally only a few treatment sessions are required, although more often treatment is carried out over a few months. Your practitoner will usually see you once a week for the first 4-6 treatments and then space treatment out to fortnightly or monthly depending on your individual response to treatment. For more information please contact Jo.
 

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Do I have to tell my doctor I'm having acupuncture?
 
This will depend on your individual condition. If you are taking prescription medicine and are therefore under the regular care of your doctor then it is advisable to tell your doctor that you are having acupuncture treatement. Your acupuncturist will require details of all prescription medicine that you are taking and will therefore be able to advise you about informing your doctor.
 

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Is acupuncture safe?
 
Acupuncture is safe when carried out by a qualified practitioner. Reactions to treatment are unusual and are mild when they do occur. Reactions to treatment can include tiredness or mild dizziness and occassionally minor bruising can occur at the site where the needle is nserted. All reactions are short lived. The needles are single-use, sterile needles and as such present no threat of contamination.
 

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How can I find a qualified practitioner?
 
You should always choose a practitioner who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). All BAcC members will use the letters MBAcC after their name. The British Acupuncture Council is a registered body for professional acupuncturists and ensures that all its members follow high standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice.
 
Jo holds a BSc(Hons) degree in acupuncture and is a member of the British Acupuncture council. As such she abides by the Council's Code of Safe Practice and Code of Professional Conduct, complies with the current health and safety legislation and is covered by full Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.
 

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