Frequently Asked Questions
Is acupuncture painful?
The needles used are extremely thin, about 10 acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of an injection needle. Patients may not feel the needles, others describe a sensation of: aching, buzzing, tingling, heaviness, flowing and occasionally a 'zing'. Needles can be adjust or removed if there is any discomfort.
Can I have acupuncture if I am scared of needles?
Yes, we have a Nervous Patients Programme. Patients are encouraged to close their eyes and relax. Needles will be placed very superficially and not stimulated. It may take several visits to build the confidence to accept more powerful treatments.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is very safe. Occasional minor side effects include: tiredness, minor bleeding or bruising, worsening of symptoms or feeling faint. Serious side effects are very rare. In 2018, British Acupuncture Council practitioners carried out approximately 2 million treatments with 20 reported an adverse event, that's only 0.001%.
How many treatments will I need?
Every patient responds differently to treatment. Occasionally, patients respond almost immediately to treatment, but more often it takes 3-6 sessions to see an improvement. Acute conditions may respond better to a short intense treatment plan of 2-3 sessions a week for 2 weeks. Often weekly treatments are recommended, chronic conditions may benefit from a monthly maintenance plan.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into carefully chosen points. Every diagnosis and treatment plan is individually tailored to the patient. Sheffield Community Acupuncture uses diagnostic techniques and knowledge based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is based on ideas rooted in the observation of nature and has been practised in China for over 2000 years.
What's the evidence?
Vast amounts of case reports and clinical guidance is documented in China, ancient Chinese language is notoriously difficult to translate, fortunately we have experts who are now able to uncover this wisdom. Over the last 20 years there have been extensive scientific studies, evidence is consistently demonstrating that acupuncture can benefit a wide range of conditions. The British Acupuncture Council has factsheets on the most recent developments. Find out more
I had acupuncture at the hospital, is it the same?
A form of acupuncture called ‘dry needling’ is offered by physiotherapists, doctors and chiropractors. This involves the insertion of needles, however, it lacks the diagnostic framework found within Traditional Chinese Medicine. (British Acupuncture Council Practitioners study for a 3 year degree, dry needling courses take a couple of weekends).
How does acupuncture work?
In acupuncture we talk about Qi (pronounced Chee) flowing through channels in the body, for many people this is a concept which is difficult to comprehend. It is possible that Qi is a form of electricity so small that we currently cannot detect it. What is known and documented for thousands of years is that moving and nourishing Qi can restore balance to the body and help the body to help itself. Many people who receive acupuncture will experience the feeling of Qi. The patient does not have to believe in it for it to work.