Frequently Asked Questions

How many treatments will I need?

acu09Like most treatments acupuncture works best if you have a course of treatment. At your initial consultation your practitioner will discuss this with you. Normally an initial course of between 4 – 8 treatments is recommended, after which there should be some positive change. You can then discuss your progress with your practitioner and decide how you wish to continue treatment.

If you have a specific longer term problem, treatment will depend on several factors:

  • severity of the problem
  • length of time you have had the problem
  • your age and general health

Even after an initial problem has cleared up people often like to continue with treatment as a way of health maintenance and prevention. This would normally be on a monthly or six weekly basis.

Can I combine acupuncture with other treatments?

Acupuncture can be combined successfully with other treatments including orthodox medical treatment. You should inform each practitioner of any other treatments you are having.

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes, very. Dulwich Acupuncture practitioners are trained to the highest standard and only use ‘single use pre-sterilised disposable needles’, so there is no risk of infection.

Like most complementary therapies there are virtually no side effects either short term or long term from acupuncture treatment. Sometimes for 24 hours after treatment certain patients may experience a ‘healing reaction’ such as a headache, tiredness or even a slight worsening of symptoms. This is only temporary and is usually followed by an improvement in symptoms the following day.

Does acupuncture hurt?

No, acupuncture should not hurt. The needles used are very fine and generally you feel very little. On certain points you may feel a small pin prick as the needle is inserted and then a tingling or heavy sensation as the needle ‘attracts’ the body’s energy.

Is there any blood involved?

Great care is taken to avoid even small blood vessels that are located near the points. Occasionally a needle may break a capillary and when it is removed there will be a tiny spot of blood. This is wiped away by the practitioner using a sterile cotton swab.

Is anything injected into my body?

No. Acupuncture needles are made of solid surgical steel and nothing is either put into or taken out of the body.

Are there different kinds of acupuncture?

Although all based on the same ancient Chinese principles, over the centuries different styles of acupuncture have emerged.

Japanese style acupuncture is a particularly gentle yet effective form of acupuncture and that is the style practised at Dulwich Acupuncture. Because in Japan acupuncture is often practised by blind practitioners it has developed very subtle and refined techniques that still achieve powerful and lasting results.

The other common styles are TCM, Five Element and ‘medical’ acupuncture.  TCM – ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’ is the style commonly practised in the UK and uses thicker needles and a stronger needle stimulation. Five Element acupuncture focuses on the emotional component of any problem and how this may be affecting your health. ‘Medical’ Acupuncture is a very modern form of acupuncture practised by medical doctors and physiotherapists who have normally undergone only a very rudimentary acupuncture training. It is symptom focused rather than addressing the underlying problem.