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 will alter how your symptoms present to the acupuncturist. Also avoid alcohol and food or drinks which colour your tongue (such as coffee) immediately prior to treatment.

Q: How will I feel after acupuncture?
A: Usually rather relaxed and calm. Occasionally you may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the treatment has been particularly strong or there may be a short term flair up of your symptoms as your energy clears and resettles itself.

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: Some pain clinics offer acupuncture in hospital, I work at the pain clinic in Solihull PCT. To gain access to acupuncture on the NHS you will need to approach your GP and ask for a referal to the pain clinic who will be able to discuss a range of pain control including acupuncture.

Q: Why should I go to a British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) member?

A: BAcC members have an extensive training in acupuncture and bio medical 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 assurances 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: Practitioners do vary in price, particularly in London. At Jo Rochford Acupuncture your initial consultation before a course of acupuncture is £65 which includes your first treatment and may last up to 1 ½ hours. Subsequent treatments are £45 per treatment and will normally be 40 minutes long. Other specialist treatments such as Facial Enhancement acupuncture and acupuncture during labour cost more.

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 and will be providing and monitoring your treatment.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: This varies between patients. Usually 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 4 - 6 treatments.

Q: Can I buy an acupuncture machine for self-treatment?
A: I 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: 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 3 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 the medication. Many people seek the help of an acupuncturist because of dissatisfaction with drug treatment - 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: 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: BAcC Members use single use pre-sterilised disposable needles, which are disposed of after each treatment. British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) members observe the Code of Safe Practice which lays down stringent standards of hygiene and sterilisation for other equipment.

Q:Is it safe?
A: Yes, all members of the BAcC must observe the Code of Safe Practice which defines the hygiene and safety standards relating to the practice of acupuncture.

Code of Safe Practice (amended 2006)PDF logo

These procedures have been approved by the Department of Health, and provide protection against the transmission of infectious diseases.