Thursday, April 13, 2017

Common Questions about Acupuncture Treatment

Here are some questions I am often asked about acupuncture treatment:

Will it hurt? It shouldn’t if you’re relaxed and your acupuncturist is proficient.
If you tense up and worry, you’re going to feel more. So breathe,
relax, and enjoy your acupuncture treatment.

Is it safe? Acupuncturists that are members of one of the professional
associations are required to observe a Code of Safe Practice, with hygiene
and safety standards approved by the Department of Health. Check that
your acupuncturist is a member of one of these organisations to ensure
that you receive safe acupuncture.

Do I have to take my clothes off? Usually you just need to remove outer
garments so that the acupuncturist can get to the relevant acupoints. In
China, patients often keep all their clothes on and I vividly remember
struggling to push up layer after layer of clothing just to get to simple
knee or elbow points. Well, it was –20°C outside at the height of the
Beijing winter and the local people liked to wrap up warm!

Will I be lying down or sitting up? Treatment is usually given while you
lie down comfortably on a treatment couch. Sometimes treatment is
given while you’re sitting up in a chair. This practice is common in
China, where I have seen up to 20 people being treated simultaneously
on rows of chairs! It is less common in the West.

How many needles will I have? As few as one or two, or as many as 20
or more, depending on the type of treatment and the type of problem.

What happens if I’m scared of needles? If you’re nervous, using either
no needles (using acupressure/finger tip pressure therapy instead) or
just a small number of needles with only light stimulation is usually possible.
Most acupuncturists are sympathetic and willing to help you get
accustomed to the acupuncture process and release your fear.

Can I still donate blood after I have had acupuncture? If you’ve been
treated by a member of the BAcC or the BMAS, (see ‘Finding a good
acupuncturist’ below) you’re eligible to donate blood through the

National Blood Service. Members of these organisations are covered by
safety codes that ensure safe acupuncture practice and prevention of
the spread of infectious diseases.

Very occasionally a person feels faint during treatment. Faintness is more
likely if the person is sitting up or nervous about having acupuncture for the
first time. If you feel faint, let your acupuncturist know immediately so that
he or she can remove needles if necessary and prevent you from actually
fainting. Lying down usually alleviates this feeling.


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