Your first consultation will probably last approximately 2 hours. We will go through questions about your diet, lifestyle, symptoms of your illness, medical and family history, sleeping patterns etc., as well as your likes and dislikes and emotional feelings. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture diagnosis also includes an examination of your tongue, its shape, colour and coating. I will then also check the energy of your internal organs by feeling for the pulses on each wrist. Each meridian corresponds to one of the organs in your body and has a pulse associated with it located on your wrists. By taking the pulses I can determine the condition of the energy in that meridian.
After the examination I will make a diagnosis and put together your individual treatment plan. Treatment lasts for between half an hour and an hour, and initially takes place once a week. As we progress, the frequency is reduced to once a fortnight. Treatment is the process of re-establishing the energy balance. This is done in two ways. One is the insertion of fine, stainless steel needles into acupuncture points, either stimulating or reducing the flow of energy in a specific channel. The other is the application of warmth to the acupuncture point. This is done by using a herb called moxa. As the balance improves, health improves.
The insertion of acupuncture needles is said to be painless, although some people may experience a tingling sensation or a “dull ache”. It is relatively painless due to the use of needle guide tubes which alleviate any sensation on the surface of the skin. There are over 400 acupuncture points so needles can be inserted into almost anywhere on the body. They are left in position for anything from a few seconds to half an hour, depending on the patient’s condition.
Usually a feeling of peace and relaxation comes over people during acupuncture treatment.
I use a fresh set of pre-sterilized disposable needles for every new patient. These are thrown away and disposed of safely after use. This ensures that the acupuncture you receive is completely safe.
Sometimes the effects are dramatic and you may need only one or two treatments, sometimes the effects are more subtle and you may need treatment for several months. This depends on your condition and how long you have had it. Certain medical conditions respond better to acupuncture than others. However, most patients should see considerable improvements after about five sessions.