Is there anything I should do before a treatment?
It would be useful to bring along details of any medication you are currently taking. Ideally, minimal make-up will assist diagnosis. Try not to have a large meal within an hour of your consultation and please avoid alcohol and food or drink that colour your tongue. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing as it makes it easier to access the points needed for treatment.
How many sessions will I need?
In some cases, clients react very quickly to Acupuncture and only 2 or 3 treatments are needed. Other chronic conditions may need treatment for longer. Usually an inital course of 6-8 treatments is recommended. Many people have Acupuncture treatment regularly to maintain good health throughout the year.
What happens at my Acupuncture consultation?
Your first acupuncture consultation will take 60 minutes. You will be asked about your current condition and medical history, then there will be a short physical examination which will include taking pulses on both wrists and looking at your tongue. An individual diagnosis and treatment plan can then be made. When the acupuncture points have been chosen, the needles stay in for 20-40 minutes.
Should I tell my doctor?
If you have been prescribed medication, I recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have Acupuncture. Do not stop taking any medication without professional guidance. You should always tell me about any medication and supplements that you are taking as this may affect your response to the Acupuncture treatment. As a BAcC registered acupuncturist, I am trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and will suggest that you see your GP if necessary.
Is acupuncture painful?
There may be some minor discomfort, but many clients compare the feeling to a tingling or dull ache, and find that the time is an opportunity to relax - some snooze! Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and nothing like those used by your GP or in hospital. You may find that the points chosen are somewhat distant from where you feel the source of discomfort or symptoms. Migraines are a good example of this, where acupuncture points on the hands or feet may be chosen depending upon the nature of the migraine. Research
Is acupuncture safe?
A British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC) member, Elma McElligott graduated from the International College of Oriental Medicine, and abides by the Council’s Code of Safe Practice and is fully insured. Only the best quality single-use and sterile disposable needles are used. Acupuncture is suitable for men, women and children and can be used safely alongside Western medicine.
Can I claim on my insurance?
Some private health insurance policies cover the provision of complementary healthcare and more specifically Traditional Acupuncture performed by a member of The British Acupuncture Council which I am. Please check your policy for details on the criteria that must be met for reimbursement.
If you are claiming from your insurance provider, you will still need to pay at the time you come for a consultation and then arrange for reimbursement from your insurer. A receipt will be issued at the time of consultation to assist in reimbursement.
The following healthcare companies and cash plans reimburse for acupuncture: This list was last updated August 2013, and policies can change, so please do check with your provider.
What happens after the treatment?
You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment. Some people on the other hand feel quite energised. You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment.