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Jing Shen
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acupuncture bristol


Frequently asked questions

Q: What should I do before treatment?
A: Try not to have a big meal within an hour of your appointment, as the process of digestion can alter the pattern of your pulse. Ideally alcohol needs to be abstained from for 24 hours following treatment.

Q: How will I feel after acupuncture?
A: Usually rather relaxed and calm. It is also very common for people to feel energised, clear headed with an increased sense of emotional perspective after treatment.

Q: Should I tell my doctor?
A: If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it makes sense to tell him or her about your plans to have acupuncture. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication, but your doctor should be consulted regarding any change of prescription. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.

Q: Is acupuncture available on the NHS?
A: Not generally. In cases where your local Primary Care Group (PCG) or Primary Care Trust (PCT) has agreed a contract with a local acupuncturist, your GP may make a referral. However, you should always enquire as to the training of an acupuncturist and ensure that they have studied for a minimum of three years full time, or the part-time equivalent. Many GPs and physiotherapists have often only attended training over a few weekends learning trigger point acupuncture rather than Chinese medicine-based acupuncture.

Q: What can acupuncture do for me?
A: It depends on whether you have specific symptoms or want to use acupuncture as a preventative treatment. Contact one or more of the practitioners in your area to discuss your condition. They will be able to answer specific questions while providing and monitoring your treatment.

Q: Why should I go to a BAcC member?
A: BAcC members have extensive training requirements in acupuncture and biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture in the UK. As well as being covered by full medical malpractice and public/products liability insurance, members are bound by codes of ethics, practice and disciplinary procedures.

Q: What should I look for in an acupuncturist?
A: Aside from assurance that the practitioner is registered with a professional body and has appropriate insurance cover, your personal relationship/rapport with your practitioner is important. Find a practitioner with whom you feel comfortable, who understands what you want from treatment and who can explain clearly what they expect acupuncture treatment to be able to do for you.

Q: What should it cost?
A: There is no fixed fee as practitioner’s overheads vary. By contacting a few practitioners you will be able to ascertain what is being charged in your area.  Depending on a practitioner’s experience, the fee may differ slightly from practice to practice.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: This varies between patients. Certainly a course of treatment is required, one off miracle cures are unusual. Some changes either in yourself generally, or in your condition directly should be noticed after four to six treatments. Often change will be experienced after one session but we say four to six treatments for the completion of treatment and lasting results.

Q: Can I buy an acupuncture machine for self-treatment?
A: We cannot recommend self-treatment either with needles or other gadgets. A fully trained practitioner is needed in order to objectively diagnose and administer appropriate treatment for each individual. Gadgets sold with manuals indicating 'certain points for certain symptoms' do not use traditional acupuncture theory and may cause the patient to overlook other relevant symptoms.

Q: What is the difference between the BAcC and the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS)?
A: We understand that the BMAS takes members who are doctors who have an interest in acupuncture. The BAcC registers practitioner members who have an extensive training in acupuncture (irrespective of any prior western medical training) of at least three years full time (or the part-time equivalent) and which includes the requisite western medical sciences.

Q: Should I continue with my prescribed medication while undergoing a course of acupuncture treatment?
A: Yes, at least until careful discussion is had with your doctor or the practitioner who prescribed your medication. Many people seek the help of an acupuncturist because of dissatisfaction with drug treatment; perhaps because it does not seem to be working, or because the side effects are unacceptable. DO NOT stop taking any medication without professional guidance.

Q: Does it hurt?
A: The ten million dollar question. Acupuncture is not painless but neither can it be described as painful. Most people's experience of needles is of those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much finer, and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling.

Q: What about the needles used?

A: Members use single use pre-sterilised needles, which are disposed of after each treatment. British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) members observe a Code of Practice that requires stringent standards of hygiene and sterilisation for other equipment. See acupuncture.org.uk.