Acupuncture Most Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about acupuncture are quite common, particularly because the treatment involves needles, which can be intimidating for some individuals.

In my practice as an acupuncturist, I often meet patients who are new to acupuncture and have questions before their first session. To help ease any uncertainties, I’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions based on my interactions with the many patients I’ve assisted over the years.

What does acupuncture feel like?

The sensation experienced during acupuncture can vary from person to person and may depend on factors such as individual sensitivity and the specific acupuncture technique used.

Some individuals may not feel much at all during the treatment. For many people, the insertion of acupuncture needles is often described as a slight tingling sensation, a feeling of warmth or pressure, or even a dull ache at the site of insertion. Once the needles are in place, you may experience a sense of relaxation or heaviness in the treated area or even throughout your body.

During your acupuncture treatment, it’s vital that you feel comfortable and at ease. Don’t hesitate to communicate openly with me about any sensations or concerns you experience. Your comfort and well-being are my top priorities, so please feel free to share any feedback or questions you may have throughout the session. Together, we can ensure that your acupuncture experience is as pleasant and beneficial as possible.

Many people find acupuncture to be a calming and enjoyable experience, often leaving the session feeling deeply relaxed and rejuvenated.

I’m scared of needles – can I have acupuncture?

Absolutely, you can still receive acupuncture even if you’re scared of needles. It’s entirely normal to feel apprehensive about needles, but rest assured that acupuncture needles are incredibly fine and thin, often barely felt when inserted.

Your comfort and well-being are my top priorities, so I’ll take extra care to ensure you feel relaxed and at ease throughout the treatment.

If you’re particularly anxious, we can start with gentle techniques and gradually introduce acupuncture as you become more comfortable. Many people find that their fear diminishes once they experience how gentle and painless acupuncture can be.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of acupuncture sessions you’ll need can vary greatly depending on several factors. These factors include your individual condition, the severity of your symptoms, and how your body responds to treatment.

During our initial consultation, we’ll discuss your health concerns in detail, and I’ll conduct a thorough assessment to better understand your needs. Based on this assessment and your treatment goals, I’ll develop a personalised acupuncture plan tailored specifically to you.

While some patients experience noticeable improvements after just a few sessions, others may require a longer course of treatment to achieve optimal results. My aim is to work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your health and well-being.

For more specific conditions such as weight loss or IVF support, I recommend referring to the dedicated FAQs on each treatment page or scheduling a consultation to discuss your needs in more detail. Together, we’ll determine the most suitable treatment plan for you.

Does acupuncture have any side-effects?

Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting.

  • Drowsiness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients. If affected, you are advised not to drive.
  • Minor bleeding or bruising occurs after treatment in about 3% of treatments.
  • Pain occurs in 1% of treatments – please tell me if you are in any pain or experiencing discomfort.
  • When releasing muscles there may be some soreness the day after.
  • Cupping and gua sha can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.
  • Existing symptoms can get worse after treatment (less than 3% of patients).
  • Fainting can occur in certain patients, particularly at the first treatment.

Are there any risks from the treatment?

Acupuncture is a skin piercing technique, and like all other skin piercing techniques carries a risk of cross infection. In the case of acupuncture, these risks are minimised:

  • Needles are all single use, sterilised and disposable.
  • The practitioner follows British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) guidelines developed by leading experts in the field of skin piercing.

You can reduce the risks and side effects of treatment further by ensuring you advise me of anything about you that might increase the risk of treatment, such as a history of fits, fainting, funny turns, a pacemaker or electrical implant, a bleeding disorder, use of anti-coagulant medication like warfarin or damaged heart valves. As a well trained practitioner I will take consider any of these issues in your treatment plan.

For more information, visit my page about Your First Visit