First step:  Click here for a BAcC video with answers to 16 frequently asked questions

What happens in an acupuncture treatment?

Acupuncture uses single use disposable needles that are inserted into certain points in the body depending on your condition. Within our body we have an ability to heal ourselves. For example, when you get the common cold and you don’t take any medication for it, eventually your body has the ability to overcome the cold and get better due to the body’s internal healing mechanisms. Acupuncture works on this same premise and helps to promote your body’s own internal healing abilities from the inside. Acupuncture facilitates your body’s own production of natural endorphins or painkillers which is why it can be so beneficial in the reduction of pain. Acupuncture also has the ability to act as an anti-inflammatory as well increasing local blood flow and circulation to certain areas of the body.jazz32 Since acupuncture works to stimulate your body’s internal healing mechanisms, it can help alleviate various types of conditions and promote general wellness. Some of the most common conditions treated are listed below. Click here to go to the BAcC factsheets on a range of conditions that may benefit from acupuncture. • Pain & Painful Conditions • Sports Injuries • GI Issues (Acid reflux, Constipation, IBS, Crohn’s Disease) • Pregnancy (Breach Position, Haemorrhoids, Morning Sickness, Postpartum Depression, Milk Production) • Women’s Health (Dysmenorrhea, PMS, Heavy Periods, Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Menopausal Symptoms) • Infertility • Migraines/Headaches • Stress Reduction • Respiratory Issues (Asthma, Chronic Throat Clearing, Frequent Colds) • Sciatica • Depression/Grief • Anxiety • Addictions • Hypertension • Bell’s Palsy • Trigeminal Neuralgia

Does acupuncture hurt?

Here is an indication of the size of an acupuncture needle:   Picture

No, acupuncture does not hurt. Occasionally, there will be a slight pinch where the needle is inserted almost like a mosquito bite. The size of an acupuncture needle is about the thickness as a strand of hair. Patients will often say that they did not even feel the needle being inserted. Once the needle is in you may feel a heavy sensation, dull ache or slight tingle where the needle has been inserted but this will often dissipate almost instantly. Many patients will feel a deep relaxation and calmness once the needles are inserted and many people often fall asleep while the needles do their work.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe and has no side effects. It is safe for the elderly, pregnant women, children and those on medications.

How many visits will I need?

Since acupuncture promotes your body’s own ability to heal itself every patient will respond differently to acupuncture. Some symptoms will resolve after the first treatment while others may take 4-10 treatments. Acupuncture has an cumulative effect on your body with each treatment building on the next. The length of your condition, severity and current state of health overall play a role in how many treatments may be necessary.

Do you reuse acupuncture needles?

No, only sterile single use disposable needles are used.

Do you treat people who have a fear of needles?

Yes, many people have a fear of needles. If someone has concerns, I will only use a minimal number of needles. However, most people who have a fear of needles often do not have a problem with acupuncture needles due to the small size of the needle. Cupping, moxa or tui na might be utilized instead of acupuncture.
More about needles from this useful website
How thin are they? This varies because shorter needles don’t bend so easily so can be thinner. Widths usually vary between 0.15mm and 0.40 mm. How long are the needles? Well, only as long as is necessary to reach the appropriate place, the acupuncture point, where it lies under the skin: see below. Typically acupuncture needles are between 1 cm and 3 cm but can be much longer and for certain purposes are much shorter. The longest I use is about 150mm but acupuncturists can buy longer ones. The one I use most is about 20mm long, not far off an inch in length. 20130915-103629.jpg‘Non-hypodermic’ means that an acupuncture needle has no hole running down its centre. Acupuncture needles are also flexible which means they don’t splinter, crack or break in normal use.  All the needles come in sterile packs, from the manufacturer and retailer. The sealed packages ensure absolute hygiene. The package is opened only when the acupuncture treatment begins.acu needles

What is meant by ‘insertion’? The needle comes in various lengths and widths but rest assured, it’s sharp! – although not so sharp that its point is easily bent. Under the microscope, a good acupuncture needle has a tip that is smoothly rounded to prevent snagging. How deep do the needles go? It depends. In some places it might be hardly through the skin or just a couple of millimetres inside. In your buttocks it might be up to 3 inches or 75mms depending on how well built you are. Bear in mind that the actual acupuncture point could be just under the surface of the skin, but in other places is at a depth. To do its work, the needle should make contact with the point, where it can manipulate it for your health. Here is Kim Kardashian receiving some facial acupuncture prior to the birth of her baby. Bless.