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FAQ

Questions



Answers


    What are the main types of Acupuncture in the UK?

  • There are several main styles of acupuncture in use.

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • TCM analyses information gleaned through the four methods of diagnosis - Looking, asking, listening and palpating. Pulse, tongue, complexion, voice, and a host of other factors are considered along with the case history. This is then analysed and treatment will be based on the pattern which emerges.

  • Five Elements Acupuncture

  • Acupuncture using just the Five Elements theory was developed in England by JR Worsley. It emphasizes careful observation, and deciding which element characteristics are most prominent in the patient. Gordon uses Five Elements theory, but in a broader, more traditional context.

  • Western (Medical) Acupuncture.

  • This approach is used by western medical practitioners. The emphasis is on treating muscles and nerves, usually for pain control. The training is relatively brief compared with traditional acupuncturists, but some very useful techniques have evolved. Current research is gradually providing more common ground between the two approaches.

  • Dry Needling

  • This approach is often offered as a weekend course for non-acupuncturists and has been adopted by many physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors. It evolved from using solid needles instead of injecting areas with hypodermic syringes, hence the term "Dry Needling". It is mainly used for tight muscles and pain.
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  • How many treatments will I need?

  • This varies between patients. Most people have a course of treatment and I usually expect obvious improvement after three to four sessions, or slightly more for very long-standing problems.
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  • What diseases can acupuncture treat?

  • Studies show acupuncture affects an enormous range of conditions (see News).
  • We are frequently asked if acupuncture can treat fertility problems, depression, insomnia, menopausal problems and other conditions.
  • A classical acupuncturist will focus on how the patient is functioning as a whole, and this will include their mood, appetite, sensitivity to weather, energy levels and many other factors.

  • For example, two people complain of back pain.
  • One of them is quiet with dark rings under the eyes, and also has aching knees. His back has hurt for years, and it is always worse when he is tired and after exertion.
  • The second person is waiting for news of possible redundancy. He is keen on sport, has a loud voice and plenty of energy. His back pain came on suddenly, is better for moving around but uncomfortable in bed.
  • As you can imagine that the treatment would be quite different in each case because the back pain was only one sign of a general imbalance.
  • If you ask people you know, you will probably get an idea of what sort of problems have been helped, or look at the British Acupuncture Council research fact sheets.
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  • What can I do to help with the treatment?

  • A lot! Take a look at helping yourself section for suggestions
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Answers


    Does it hurt?

  • My style of acupuncture uses fine needles, with gentle stimulation. Although it is possible to feel strong sensations, patients are often surprised to find they are enjoying the treatment. The sensations of tingling, warmth or heaviness are welcome signs of activity. Needling is only one way of affecting the body energy, and massage, pressure, cupping, warming and even light touch may be used in treatment.

  • What about the needles used?

  • I use pre-sterilised disposable needles.

  • Is it safe?

  • Three recent surveys showed that acupuncture from properly trained practitioners is amongst the safest therapies in the UK today. Out of 68,000 recorded treatments there were only 14 minor adverse events. Most adverse effects lasted no more than a day or so.

  • What should I do before treatment?

  • Don't come hungry, but don't arrive stuffed either. Think about why you are coming. If possible, please download and print a form to complete in advance. Otherwise have a look at the form and write down the information yourself. This will give you more time in your treatment session.
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  • How will I feel after acupuncture?

  • You may feel relaxed and calm, possibly a little tired, or energized immediately after treatment. Sometimes the symptoms can worsen briefly and you would then expect a good improvement.
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  • Should I tell my doctor?

  • If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it is sensible to mention that you plan to have acupuncture.

    I will need to know about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.
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  • Should I continue with my prescribed medication during acupuncture treatment?

  • Yes, at least until you have discussed this with your doctor. DO NOT stop taking any medication without professional guidance.
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  • Is acupuncture available on the NHS?

  • Some primary care trusts and GP practices offer acupuncture treatment, and many refer patients to physiotherapists who use Dry Needling.
    Most Dry Needling courses are taught in one or a few days, and this obviously affects the scope of treatment.
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  • Why should I go to a BAcC member?

  • BAcC members have an extensive training in acupuncture to undergraduate degree level and in biomedical sciences to an appropriate level. As well as being covered by full Medical Malpractice and PublicLiability Insurance, BAcC members are bound by codes of professional conduct and safe practice.
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  • What will it cost?

  • The usual fee for a first (one hour) consultation and treatment is £60. Follow-ups are £50 and last 40 minutes.
  • These rates reflect my experience and results, and my integrated approach usually means fewer visits and lower overall cost.
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  • Do you accept card payments?

  • Sorry, just cheques or cash. Internet bank transfers are fine, though. Please ask for details.
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  • Do you offer concessionary rates?

  • I have to balance reduced fees with feeding the family.
  • My solution is to have a quota of patients receiving concessions. It is full at the moment, but I would be glad to add you to the list if you ask.
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  • Will my private health insurance cover me?

  • Many health insurance companies now cover acupuncture treatment from BAcC members and AXA PPP has just joined the ranks.
    Please check first, as you may need to be referred by a doctor or consultant, and cover may be limited.
    At the moment BUPA will not usually cover you.
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  • Will I be clamped if I park outside the Clinic?

  • Definitely not! The signs are to prevent shoppers parking there. Please park in any of the spaces, but note that the one nearest the waiting room is for people with disabilities.
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  • When is the best time to phone?

  • Try between 8:00 and 9:00, but any time during office hours. If I am treating I can usually return calls promptly, so do leave a message.
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