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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted into certain areas of the body for therapeutic reasons as well as to treat pain and manage stress. GPs can administer it as well as pain clinics and hospices across the UK. It's known as a technique for balancing the flow of energy flowing through pathways in your body. By inserting the needles into your body, it's believed to help rebalance your energy.

What Will Happen During an Acupuncture Session?

A typical session of acupuncture can last anywhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour. Your therapist will assess your health, look at your medical history and do a physical examination before they start inserting the needles. The needles are incredibly fine, and are just a few centimetres long. Your therapist will choose the points to place the needles, depending on your condition and what you're looking to achieve. They can insert the needles just under the skin, or deeper so they can reach your muscles. The needles can be left inserted for up to 30 minutes. When the needles are first inserted into your body, you may feel a slight ache or tingling sensation, but you shouldn't feel any pain. If you do feel pain, make sure to tell your therapist straightaway.

What Should I Wear To Acupuncture?

When you go for your acupuncture session, it's best to wear loose fitting clothing. Especially if it's your first session, you may be feeling a little anxious about the needles so wearing tight clothing will not make you feel comfortable. With looser clothing, you'll also be able to roll your sleeves or trousers up for your therapist to gain easier access to your body. You can keep jewellery and piercings on as normal, you may just be asked to remove your watch or a bracelet so the therapist can get to those pressure points easier. You can wear your hair up or down, whichever feels more comfortable for you, and if you want to wear any fragrances or make-up you can. If your treatment requires any facial acupuncture work, your therapist will use a wipe to cleanse your face before inserting the needles.

Benefits of Acupuncture

There are some great health benefits to having acupuncture treatment and it's well worth trying! It's thought that the acupuncture points stimulate the central nervous system. There is no evidence that acupuncture is a cure for everything, but there is evidence of it being a useful treatment for people with certain conditions and illnesses. Research is growing all the time into how it best helps people and what it can help with. Some of the top conditions it's known to help with are allergies, anxiety and depression, chronic pain, insomnia, migraines, sprains and strokes. It can also be a useful type of treatment for conditions or illnesses when used in combination with other types of treatments.

What Happens After Acupuncture?

After a session of acupuncture, people generally tend to feel quite relaxed from the treatment. You'll likely feel and sleep much better on the following days where you will be feeling relaxed and potentially more sleepy! Few people experience their current symptoms getting worse over the next day, but do not worry as it is normal. Report any changes or symptoms that you notice to your therapist. This tends to happen with chronic pain, as the acupuncture acts as a short-term cure. If you had acupuncture for an injury, then you're more likely to experience the instant pain-relief.

How Often Should You Have Acupuncture?

Treatment plans for acupuncture normally include one or two treatments a week. It depends on the condition you're having treated and the severity of that condition. Your therapist will most likely monitor your progress, and decide when would be most beneficial for you to have your next session. Once your condition improves, the sessions can be spaced further apart before they come to an end.

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