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Can Acupuncture Help Me? FAQ's

Is there a standard treatment for my condition?
The first thing to understand is that in terms of traditional acupuncture, you are unique. This is one of its underlying principles and it is for this reason there is no standard treatment. Two people with the same medical diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments. Your treatment will be individually tailored to giving relief from the symptoms you are experiencing and at the same time supporting your overall health.

Is acupunucture holistic?
Traditional acupuncture is holistic which means the focus of treatment is to support your overall health alongside giving relief from your presenting complaint. This can include complementing medical treatments and alleviating side effects of medication. A holistic approach includes all aspects of you and your life, so identifying habits which affect your health are usually part of treatment. For this reason the initial consultation is detailed, as well as you telling me all about your condition I will  ask broader questions about your general health and life.

What is the theory behind acupuncture?
The basic tenant of traditional acupuncture is illness, pain or poor function occur when the body's vital energy, or qi (pronounced chee), cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. Some conditions are hereditary. Your treatment will always be aimed at restoring the flow of qi.

Can you give me a diagnosis over the phone?
I am always happy to speak on the phone, and I will need to see you before I can make a diagnosis. When someone is thinking about acupuncture I often suggest coming in for an initial consultation and treatment. This will allow me to make a working diagnosis and give you an experience of acupuncture. From there we can discuss options of how to work together if you want to.

How many treatments will I need?
Because everyone is different it can be difficult to say how many treatments you will need. For some people there may be a marked improvement after one or two treatments and sometimes this is enough. For other it takes longer and, with serious illness it may only be possible to alleviate some of the symptoms. I often recommend four or six sessions after which can we review progress. Some people choose occasional or regular acupuncture or shiatsu treatments as an enjoyable way to keep on top of stress and support healthy lifestyle choices.

What evidence is there that acupuncture works?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest treatments in existence and for some its continuity of practice is evidence of its efficacy. Medical science is yet to establish the mechanisms of how acupuncture works and standard research methods, such as those used to evaluate pharmaceutical drugs, are not very useful when applied to acupuncture. However there is a growing body of qualitative research evidence about the effectiveness of acupuncture, a selection of which is listed here >