Frequently asked questions

Q: Is the clinic open on other days?
A: The multi-bed clinic is only open on Wednesdays. Appointments on other days are available with my private clinic.

Q: Is the treatment in a multibed clinic different to private clinic?
A: The aim of a multibed practice is to offer essentially the same therapeutic treatment but in a large room, using screens for privacy, with several patients receiving treatment at the same time. This keeps costs low. Patients may choose to start their acupuncture treatments in a private clinic and then feel more confident to have treatment in a more open setting. As acupuncture works best if you can plan at least weekly sessions initially, for five or six treatments, it helps to have a lower cost option available.

Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: Acupuncture needles are about as thick as two human hairs. There is usually only a very slight sensation as one enters the skin. Insertion depth is very shallow. Sometimes patients feel a momentary dull ache but this also only lasts a few seconds and is generally comfortable.

Q: What happens in a treatment?
A: Your initial visit may take up to an hour and a quarter. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may currently be dealing with. After consultation your pulses are taken. The focus is on the patient as an individual and not just the specific illness, and all symptoms are seen as part of an interconnected pattern.

Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points which are said to affect the flow of your body’s qi, or vital energy, although there is ongoing research and study that suggests what many practitioners already know: that inserting needles into the channels (or meridians) affects change within the human body, and the term ‘energy’ is rather simplistic. Your practitioner will talk through your treatment plan and what it involves.
Subsequent appointments generally reduce in duration and eventually, may only last a few minutes.

Q: Is it safe?
A: Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments currently on offer in the UK, in fact in 2001 a number of studies concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are infrequent, mild and self-correcting. To see more information regarding the safety of acupuncture please visit the British Acupuncture Council’s website.

Q: What Covid-19 measures do you obseve?
A: My new way of working starts with you completing a pre-treatment screening document. We ask you not to attend if you have any covid symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has. On arrival at the clinic you are required to wear a surgical mask. I have pre-cleaned the clinic and wear a mask too. We both sanitise our hands regularly. It is much appreciated if you can pay in advance by bank transfer and bring a towel or blanket with you in a small bag. Do attend the clinic on your own please.

Q: Do I need to book?
A: Yes, please. You can book by phone or email, most people find it best to rebook their next appointments before they leave.

Q: Can I bring someone with me?
A: The Community Clinic is popular with family and friends who may travel together to the clinic. Patients may encourage friends to come along and try treatment as the outlay is affordable. Please let us know if you are bringing anyone with you.

Q: Can I stop taking my medication?
A: You must discuss this with your GP.

Q: Can I claim my treatment cost from my medical insurance?
A: If you have a private medical insurance policy, you may be entitled to claim your treatment cost. Many insurance companies cover full or partial costs for a variety of medical conditions. Find out if you’re eligible. We just ask that you pay for your treatment, requesting a receipt, and claim yourself.

Q: Is the clinic on the ground floor?
A: The clinic uses a large first floor room. Please make us aware when booking if this may be a problem for you.

Q: What should I do before treatment?
A: Read your confirmation email and ensure you have completed the consent and patient history forms. These can be done quickly online. Pack your blanket or towel and organise your payment. We accept BACS transfers, cash or cheque. Ideally to hold your first appointment, it is best to pay in advance of attending. Wear comfortable clothing; a top and bottoms is easier to remove than a dress or all in one outfit. Note the door code as you will need to let yourself into the building. Do not eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before your treatment. If you have not eaten in the last few hours do have a small snack before attending.

Q: How many treatments do I need?
A: Everyone is different. The older you are, with more ailments, medication and life stresses; the longer treatment may take to produce lasting results. Weekly treatment is recommended for your first few sessions although we do our best to make a difference quickly. As you improve treatments become less frequent. As a rule of thumb you may wish to plan for 5-6 treatments initially.

Q: Will I need to undress?
A; We suggest you bring a towel or blanket to cover you as early treatments tend to involve you removing some top or lower clothing. We do our best to ensure your privacy and the majority of treatments involve treatment below the elbows or knees.

Q: Can I attend your private clinic?
A: If your budget allows, some people find one or two treatments in private practice (same practitioner but different days and room) a good start to get used to acupuncture and have more time to familiarise themselves with treatment.

Q: What should I do after treatment?
A: Drink plenty of water to hydrate and help the cleansing process. Please avoid caffeine and alcohol after acupuncture. Some symptoms may briefly worsen but this should only last a few hours, or 36 at most. You may feel a little tired or sleepy, try to arrange for your first sessions on a quiet day. Very occasionally a tiny spot of blood may appear around the needle’s insertion site. This is nothing to worry about and only lasts a few seconds. If you do develop a bruise after treatment, we suggest you apply arnica cream to help.

Q: What’s the research?
A: Over the years, the British Acupuncture Council has done an excellent job of working through the swathes of research into the efficacy of acupuncture. In order to keep you informed on the facts, you’ll find detailed information here.