Acupuncture can seem daunting if you have never tried it before. I do my best to make your experience a relaxing and pleasurable one. It is not uncommmon for patients to fall asleep on the treatment table, and many feel extremely relaxed or energised after the treatment. 

The acupuncture needles used are sterile and used only once.  Most are about as fine as a horse-hair (nothing like an injection needle!), and most people do not feel them at all, though some may feel a slight prick as the enter the skin.  There often follows a sensation known as "De Qi" which is typically described as a dull ache, a sensation of pressure, heaviness or warmth, or a radiating or tingling sensation - this should not feel unpleasant, and needles can be adjusted or removed at any time if the patient feels uncomfortable.

Part of your treatment may include a TDP heat lamp, or "moxibustion" or "moxa", which is a method where a smouldering herb is used to warm the skin and the channels.  Again, this should be a comfortable and enjoyable sensation, and is especially useful in cold or painful conditions.  

"Cupping" might also be used, which involves applying a suction cup to the skin, usually on the back. This should not hurt or be uncomfortable but it may leave a temporary mark on the skin where the 'stagnation' has been moved or released. It is not a bruise and does not hurt, and it should fade within a few days. This treatment is especially useful in muscular pain or tension.

"GuaSha" is another adjunctive therapy often used alongside acupuncture, which uses a tool to scrape the skin along the channels, bringing blood to the suface of the skin, again often relieving stagnation. This will often make the skin red or purplish for a few hours where it has moved the stagnantion, but the colour should fade within a day. 

Most treatments will only involve acupuncture, and your practitioner will always discuss your treatment options with you before doing anything new. Do let me know if you are nervous about needles and I will do my best to allay any concerns.  


Member of the British Acupuncture Council