Acupuncture by Rebecca Speight - image of acupuncture needles

Acupuncture FAQ

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is here to explain what to expect at your first acupuncture treatment.

  • What do needles feel like?
  • After the practitioner has made a diagnosis, the needles will be inserted, typically between 5 and 25 needles are used. Mostly the insertion is not felt at all. Sometimes it can feel slightly sharp, a little bit like a single hair being removed. The needles will be left in for approximately 20 minutes. Single use needles are used for each patient, which are disposed of after each treatment.
  • Is it hygienic ?
  • Yes, very.   Single use needles are used for each patient, which are disposed of after each treatment.
  • How does acupuncture work ?
  • The fine needles used (not much wider than a hair) activate certain energy points, called ‘meridians’. These points are gently stimulated to activate the body’s own natural healing energy, which is known as Qi. Balance and harmony are restored
  • What are the main benefits ?
  • After acupuncture treatment many people report feeling very relaxed. If their medical complaint has been one of pain, it is not unusual for people to experience a cessation in that pain.
  • How long will the appointment last?
  • The first appointment will last 45 mins. to 1 hour. Subsequent appointments will last 45 mins.
  • What does a holistic system mean ?
  • Acupuncture is said to be holistic as it works on the whole body system, not just on isolated organs and individual areas of anatomy.
  • Are there any side effects ?
  • Acupuncture uses no drugs and therefore there are none of the side effects often seen in conventional medical or pharmaceutical approaches.
  • What should I wear ?
  • Loose fitting clothing that can be rolled up to expose knees and elbows is ideal. Some back treatments will necessitate taking off t-shirts. The practitioner will always ensure that you are covered with a towel.
  • Should I eat before treatment ?
  • It’s best not to have acupuncture on a completely empty stomach. If you haven’t eaten breakfast, its advisable to eat a small snack before treatment.
  • What will I be asked ?
  • In order to make a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis of your condition, you will be asked to talk about your:
    • Main symptoms.
    • General health, including your appetite, digestion, bowels, urination, breathing, circulation, headaches and emotional wellbeing.
    • Past medical history.
    • Family history.
    • Medication
    • Lifestyle
  • The practitioner will keep confidential records on your symptoms and progress, which are kept in a locked cabinet. All patients are welcome to copies of their notes.
  • What is Qi or ‘Chi’ ?
  • Qi (pronounced ‘Chi’ or ‘Chee’) is the “life force” or “spiritual energy” and is often translated as “energy flow” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Traditional Chinese medicine asserts that the body has natural patterns of Qi which circulate in channels called meridians. Qi consists of equal and opposite qualities - Yin and Yang - and when these become unbalanced, illness may result. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance