Acupuncture is gaining in popularity, and with it the intrigue into what it is all about. This short and concise article answers some of the more common questions associated with this ‘alternative’ practice.
Q: Is there anything I need to do before undergoing acupuncture?
A: Large meals should not be consumed within one hour of your acupuncture session since digestion changes your pulse rate. Additionally, food and drink that colors your tongue, e.g. coffee, and alcohol should be avoided prior to treatment.
Q: Does my GP need to know?
A: Only if you are receiving any treatments from your doctor. In some circumstances the fact that you are receiving acupuncture may negate the continuation of some prescriptions/ treatments. Similarly, acupuncturists must be informed of any treatments being provided by your doctor as they may reduce the effects of the acupuncture.
Q: What are the after effects of acupuncture?
A: Typically you will feel calm and relaxed, at ease with yourself and everyone around you. On occasion particularly strong treatment may make you feel drowsy or tired for a few hours. Problematic symptoms that were targeted with the treatment may return in a short burst as your Qi drifts away and resettles.
Q: What are the things I should seek in an acupuncturist?
A: The acupuncture practitioner must be registered through a professional organization and have insurance cover that is appropriate. When speaking to them you should be able to engage well, feel comfortable and know that they have a clear idea of what it is that you want from them. Similarly, the practitioner should be able to confer what they believe the acupuncture will achieve.
Q: How much does acupuncture cost?
A: As such no fixed rates are used. Overheads vary from practice to practice. The best way to get an idea of costs is to phone a few practices nearby, asking how much they charge for their various treatments.
Q: What can the practice of acupuncture achieve for me?
A: This is dependant on whether your problematic symptoms you wish to reduce are specific and current, or rather, that you are looking for preventative treatment. What is generally done is to contact your local acupuncture practitioner and discuss your requirements with them. Specific questions can then be answered by the very people that will be carrying out and monitoring your acupuncture sessions.
Q: What number of acupuncture treatments will I require?
A: The number of treatments you may need varies depending upon the patient. Courses of treatments are common as one-time cures are rare. 4-6 treatments tend to produce noticeable results with regards to improving your condition.
Q: Are acupuncture machines that enable self treatment a good idea?
A: These gadgets and gizmo’s are not recommended. Experienced and qualified acupuncturists are who you should turn to. These people are able to diagnose your specific wants objectively and then act appropriately for your particular situation.
Q: Is the practice of acupuncture painful?
A: Some very mild tingling can sometimes result. What is should never be is painful. Many people imagine how they felt when surgical needles were placed in themselves. Acupuncture uses far finer needles with little similarity to injection needles, being solid rather than hollow.
Q: If I’m currently on prescribed medications whilst undergoing sessions of acupuncture should I continue with the prescriptions?
A: Indeed you should, until you have proper discussions with your GP that suggest otherwise. Albeit that many people decide to undergo acupuncture because medical treatments are seemingly failing them, it is very important that you should not cease taking your medication without first consulting with your doctor.
Q: In what way are acupuncture needles used?
A: One-use pre-sterilized disposable acupuncture specific needles are used. Stringent codes of sterilization and hygiene are always adhered to.
Q: How safe is acupuncture?
A: The transmission of diseases or improper use of needles are almost non-existent due to very thorough hygiene and safety practices vetted by the local health authorities and acupuncture bodies alike.
Q: Are there different types of acupuncture?
A: Yes, other forms exist that focus entirely on specific parts of your anatomy, e.g. hand or foot. Electrical stimulation via the needles is also practiced. A form of acupuncture uses no needles at all, instead pressure is applied to various points on the body, usually by the practitioners hands. Consult the internet, libraries and local practitioners for more advice.