What to expect?
An initial consultation involves hearing details about your current symptoms and medical history. As well as the main condition, I also need to know about the background picture. This involves questioning on thirst, appetite, digestion, sleep, hot/cold preference. I will look at your tongue and feel your pulse on both wrists. If you are presenting with muscle or joint pain, this area will be examined by touch and by checking mobility.
Acupuncture is carried out once you are lying on the treatment couch. You may be asked to remove some outer clothing in which case covering sheets are provided. Needles are usually left in place for 20 minutes. Sometimes a therapeutic heat lamp may be positioned to warm specific areas or a dried form of the herb mugwort may be smouldered above some acupuncture points.
Does it hurt?
Were you to ask 10 people who have had treatment this question you might hear up to ten different answers ! It really is a variable experience for different people. I aim for each person to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible throughout the treatment process.
How many treatments will I need?
This is difficult to say until I have made an initial assessment. Usually, more recent or milder conditions need fewer treatments than severe conditions or ones of long duration. This is not always the case though, as some recent symptoms may be part of a long-held imbalance which has shown only subtly until now. Similarly, I have sometimes treated people with conditions of many years’ duration who have been helped in just a few treatments.
For most people and conditions, I advise allowing for 3-5 weekly or fortnightly sessions to achieve at least some change. In some cases this will be all that is required. In others, several months of regular treatment may be needed.