Frequently asked questions

Who has traditional acupuncture?
Many people use acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose acupuncture as a preventive measure to strengthen their constitution or because they just feel generally unwell. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies, children and the elderly. It can be very effective when integrated with conventional medicine.

How can traditional acupuncture help me?
Acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints to more general feelings of ill health and low energy and mood disturbances.

Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very fine, much thinner than hypodermic syringes) used in vaccinations and injections. The sensation of an acupuncture needle is a little bit like a mosquito bite and this is sometimes followed by a dull, heavy feeling around the needle.

How many sessions will I need?
That depends on your individual condition. At first your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week and generally for a minimum of five sessions. You may start to feel benefits after the second or third treatment although long-standing and chronic conditions usually need more time to improve. Once your health has stabilised you may need top-up treatments every few weeks. Traditional acupuncture is also very effective when used as preventive healthcare and many people like to go for a 'retuning' session at the change of each season throughout the year.
I'm scared of needles - can I still have acupuncture?
Yes. Certain styles like Japanese acupuncture use needles that do not break the skin or are inserted extremely lightly. Acupuncture needles are very much finer than the needles used for injections and blood tests. You may not even feel them penetrate the skin and once in place they are hardly noticeable. Alternatively you could have a Tui Na treatment instead, which does not involve the insertion of any needles!
What should I do before a treatment?
Try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse, and you may need to lie on your stomach. You should also avoid alcohol and food or drink that colours your tongue such as coffee or strong tea. It is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes so that the acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible.
Should I tell my doctor that I'm having acupuncture?
If you are currently receiving treatment from your doctor it is sensible to mention that you plan to have acupuncture. Your acupuncturist will need to know about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.
I have private medical insurance - will it cover the cost of my treatment?
That depends upon your insurer. As the demand for complementary medicine increases more private health insurance companies are beginning to offer cover for traditional acupuncture. You should check your individual policy details.
What treatment is best for me?
Please feel free to specify either acupuncture or Tui Na if you have a preference. Alternatively when you contact me to discuss your condition we can decide what type of treatment is most suitable for you. Often a combination of Acupuncture and Tui Na is used. 



Leigh Brown