Common questions

* What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on Chinese Medicine, a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of Chinese Medicine is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through energy pathways in the body. read more…

* What is Shiatsu?

The word Shiatsu means finger pressure in Japanese. It describes a form of hands-on healing which, along with massage, Acupuncture and Herbalism, has been an integral part of traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries. read more…

* How many treatments will I need?

Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt after five treatments, although occasionally only one or two treatments are required. Some patients may need treatments over the course of several months. You may find that booking a series of sessions will ensure continued benefit. Regular sessions can help you address specific health needs. In this case you may choose to visit weekly or fortnightly, later progressing to monthly intervals. Many people receive treatment every 4-5 weeks as a preventative measure to help ward off future illness. Regular sessions can help reduce the build up of stress from daily life.

* Worried about needles?

Acupuncture needles are much thinner than hypodermic needles. The most common width is 0.2mm, slightly wider than a coarse human hair. Therefore sensations during needle insertion are minimal. The needles are single use, sterile and disposable, and I operate a strict health and safety regime, laid down by my vigorous training, insurance company and Acupuncture governing body, the Association of Acupuncture Clinicians.

* What does Acupuncture feel like?

Since Acupuncture needles are substantially finer than needles used for injections and blood tests, when the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull feeling.

* Why choose Shiatsu or Acupuncture?

I believe that Shiatsu and Acupuncture are effective because they aim to treat both the symptoms and the underlying causes. They will look at the cause of the headache rather than just providing pain relief, in order to cure the problem rather than suppress the symptoms. They can treat conditions which are not easily explained in Western medicine. Approaching a condition from this different Eastern perspective can often find other solutions to the problem that Western medicine cannot. They can also provide treatment without the side effects that many drugs can induce.

* How long will a treatment take?

Treatments last an hour. The first Acupuncture session will normally last 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours as a more detailed medical history is taken.

* Will my insurance pay for Acupuncture?

Many insurance companies now cover Acupuncture treatment by either self-referral or referral from your GP or specialist. If uncertain, please check with your insurer.

* My Physiotherapist gave me Acupuncture. Is this the same thing as Traditional Acupuncture?

Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and doctors sometimes embark on an add-on to their training, typically over a few weekends, to learn to use Acupuncture needles on certain points. In order to join the Acupuncture for physiotherapists governing body the AACP (Acupuncture for Chartered Physiotherapists), Physiotherapists are required to study 80 hours over 2-3 weekends. Their diagnostic procedure and system focus is very different to Traditional Acupuncture. The technique they are used is officially called “Dry Neelding” because they originally used empty syringes.

Sometimes doctors and Osteopaths will learn a small amount of Acupuncture points over a few weekend’s training. This is called Medical Acupuncture.

The training of a Traditional Acupuncturist ranges from 3 1/2 – 4 years and will involve a diagnosis and treatment according to Chinese Medicine principles to diagnose the root of a problem at a constitutional level. A Physiotherapist or Osteopath will be more likely to insert needles into ‘trigger points’ (areas of muscle tension or trauma following injury) to facilitate muscle relaxation or pain reduction (IE: Dry Needling). A Traditional Acupuncturist may incorporate these ‘trigger points’ into the treatment of muscle / muscular-skeletal problems – this encompasses around 5% of our overall skillset and techniques.

Although some doctors, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths do commit to the lengthy training required to practice Traditional Acupuncture, most don’t so if you have had Acupuncture administered by a doctor, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Osteopath or other similarly trained conventional medical practitioner you have probably had Dry Needling or Medical Acupuncture, not Traditional Acupuncture. A Traditional Acupuncturist will usually say they are a Traditional Acupuncturist or will say they practice TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), 5 Elements or Japanese Acupuncture. Medical Acupuncture helps many people but, if you have received Medical Acupuncture from a doctor, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath and it did not help you, you could probably still be helped by Traditional Acupuncture because, although both involve the insertion of needles, Medical and Traditional Acupuncture are very different systems of medicine.