Frequently Asked Questions

What does it feel like?

Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and have little resemblance to the clinical needles used for injections and blood tests. Most patients who attend Acupuncture will often be unaware that the needle has been inserted and when the needle reaches the desired point (just below the surface of the skin), there is generally a sensation often described as a dull ache or tingling.

How will I feel during and after treatment?

Most people find that acupuncture makes them feel relaxed and they often leave the treatment room feeling very calm. In some cases people describe that they feel energetic and lighter on their feet, and its also common to see patients starting to laugh or cry during treatment as held-in emotions are often released. This will be seen as a good sign by your acupuncturist who will welcome this emotional response to treatment.

How many sessions will I need?

The frequency and number of sessions that you require will depend on your individual condition. Initially you will be encouraged to come for weekly sessions and as you start to feel better, the treatments will be spread out. Some people feel benefits after the first or second treatments but long-standing and chronic conditions may need more time to improve. Once your health has stabilised you may wish to come for treatment as a preventative method and as a way to maintain good health.

Is acupuncture safe?

The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ September 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is extremely rare. The needles used are single-use, sterile, and disposable and the stringent hygiene practices recommended by the British Acupuncture Council are observed at all times to ensure safety. These stringent hygiene practices have been approved by the Department of Health, and provide protection against the transmission of infectious diseases.

Should I tell my doctor?

Acupuncture will not interfere with any western medical treatment but we do encourage you to advise your doctor that you are attending the acupuncture practice. We always recommend that you continue to take any prescriptions given to you and these should not be changed without your doctors consideration. However if your symptoms improve with acupuncture treatment then we will actively encourage you to discuss your prescription requirements with your doctor.

Can I attend an acupuncturist if I am pregnant?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a drug free treatment that helps women cope with the demands of pregnancy. Most often women will attend an acupuncture practice for support with morning sickness, tiredness and back pain. If you intend to go to an acupuncturist and you suspect you are pregnant, then do let them know as your acupuncturist will need to change the treatment strategy to support your pregnancy.

Acupunture On Insurance

Insurance coverage for acupuncture is dependant on the company you are with and the policy you have taken out. Listed below is a range of insurance companies that may cover acupuncture treatments carried out by a British Acupuncture Council member. Please contact your provider for more information.

  • Aviva health Uk Limited
  • Buck & Willis Health Care Ltd
  • Bupa Cashplan (not BUPA)
  • Clinicare
  • CS Healthcare
  • Forester Health
  • Healthshield
  • Hospital Saturday Fund
  • HSF
  • SimplyHealth (formerly HAS)
  • Leeds Hospital Fund
  • Legal & General Healthcare
  • Medisure
  • Pinnacle PLC
  • Royal & Sun Alliance Healthcare and Assistance
  • Standard Life Health Care
  • Sun Alliance Health Insurance
  • Westfield
  • WPA