What will happen at my first treatment?
The session will start with talking. I will ask about your reason for coming for treatment, your current health and health history, and your life more generally. Acupuncture is a medicine that takes the whole person into account, and the broad nature of the questions asked reflects this. Next there is a physical enquiry that includes pulse taking, looking at the tongue, feeling the channels and perhaps examining any parts of the body that are experiencing pain. After this comes the treatment, usually the needling of acupuncture points, but perhaps also moxibustion (the burning of a very fine herb called mugwort – on or close to acupuncture points and channels), or cupping. The needles may be left in very briefly, or for up to 20 minutes, depending on the diagnosis. The number and location of points used also depends on the individual diagnosis. Any questions during treatment are welcome, and every part of the session will be only be carried out with your consent.
Will it hurt?
There is sometimes a slightly uncomfortable feeling as a needle goes in, although not everyone experiences this. Once the needles are in place a mild tingling or aching sensation is sometimes felt that many people find quite pleasant. Acupuncture needles are solid (not hollow) and as fine as a human hair, nothing like the needles used for taking blood or giving medicine. They are sterile and are used only once.
How often will I need to come?
Sessions are usually weekly to begin with and then spaced out as improvements are felt. Once people feel better it is common to come for treatment monthly as a way to help maintain good health and prevent future illness.
What should I wear?
It is best to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes if possible – but don’t worry if not. The acupuncture points are found all over the body and it’s not possible to say beforehand what points will be used, so some clothing may need to be removed. There will always be blankets on hand to help cover up and keep you warm if needed.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
A list of any medications you are taking and any other important information regarding your diagnosis (if you have one) would be useful. Cash or cheque to pay for the appointment. A diary to make a note of your next session.
How will I feel after my session?
Many people say they feel very relaxed after treatment and it is not unusual to feel a bit tired too. It is best not to plan anything too taxing after your first treatment and if possible be able to go home and rest. It is also advisable to avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours after treatment.
I did not know what to expect as this was my first experience of acupuncture, but I was immediately at ease and this is due to Jenny’s way of being with her clients. She listens attentively as it is key to her doing her work, but one senses it is more than that. You feel her genuine and warm interest in you as a person.Margaret, 48