Frequently Asked Acupuncture Questions
Is it safe?
Western medical acupuncture is regarded as being completely safe when practiced by a qualified health practitioner who has had extra training in acupuncture, as there are anatomical risks associated with needling specific sites.
Sterile needles are used and are safely disposed of after use. The practice and practitioner are registered with the Chelmsford City Council to carry out acupuncture; our practitioner is fully insured and is a member of the British Medical Acupuncture Society.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture should not be painful as the needles are much finer than the needles used for injections and blood tests. There is usually a pin prick sensation on piercing the skin, and subsequent sensations are mild for most people during a normal manual acupuncture session. Most of the time, once the needle is in, it’s hardly noticeable.
Are there any side effects?
Here is a list of some of the side effects you may, or may not, experience:
- Momentary discomfort where the needles are inserted
- Drowsiness and sleepiness
- Temporary worsening of your symptoms
- Onset of a migraine headache, if you are a sufferer
- Feeling faint, during or after treatment.
Here is a list of some of the rare, but serious, problems that may be a risk:
- Damage to an internal organ from insertion of a needle
- Infection in the area where the needle was inserted
- Infection from Hepatitis or HIV if dirty needles are used
- Infection spreading through the blood system to infect previously damaged heart valves.
Please remember that the above problems are very rare.
“Acupuncture should be used with due caution in pregnant women, although there are no established risks that are specific to pregnancy.”
- The British Medical Acupuncture Society
Should I see my doctor first?
If you have any worries that you have an illness, or want to run something by your doctor first, you should always check in to put your mind at ease.
However, most back and joint pain can be treated straightaway with us, without the need for a referral.
We have close relationships with our local GPs, and if there is anything we want to get checked out, we can write a referral letter so that you get the care you need.
Some insurers do need you to see your doctor first, so when you have a new injury, we always recommend calling your insurer first and checking if you can come straight here or if you need a referral.
What should I wear?
Wear loose fitting clothing so that relevant areas of your body are easily accessible.
For certain problems we may need you to remove an item of clothing so that we can see how your body moves and provide more effective treatment, but if you are uncomfortable with this please tell your therapist.
We have towels, which we can lay over you when you are being treated to keep you warm and comfortable.
Is it used at the same time as my osteopathic treatment or in a separate appointment?
Acupuncture is used at the same time as your osteopathic treatment if your practitioner thinks it will be beneficial for you and your consent is necessary before the use of needles on you.
Your osteopath will normally use four or more sterile ultra-fine needles, and may leave them in the body for approximately 5 – 20 minutes. Once the needles are removed, we may then use other osteopathic techniques to encourage the desired tissue change.
Will it cost more?
No. Any acupuncture you receive is included in your treatment price.