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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does it hurt?

    No; a skilled acupuncturist can penetrate the superficial layer of skin without any pain.  You may feel a sensation similar to a dull ache, this is the Qi (chee) being affected.

    Will I bleed?

    Normally no.  However, occasionally some seepage does occur but this is quickly stopped with the application of a little pressure.  If you are on any anti-coagulant drugs (“blood thinners”), you are more likely to have seepage.  However, again, this is very easily dealt with and is absolutely no cause for concern.

    Will I bruise?

    Not normally. Very occasionally some slight bruising may occur, maybe if you are taking anticoagulant drugs (“blood thinners”), this will fade within a few days and is absolutely no cause for concern.

    Is it safe?

    Yes, acupuncture is very safe, all needles arrive sterilised and sealed they are intended for single use and then disposed of.

    All the clinicians at the Sean Barkes Clinic have undergone degree level training and are members of the British Acupuncture Council; they also undertake Continual Professional Development.

    The W.H.O. advocates acupuncture as a safe and effective alternative to conventional western medicine.

    • Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.
      A total of 66,000 treatments were reviewed in both surveys, with only a handful of minor and transient side effects.
      A 2003 patient survey of 6,000 acupuncture patients revealed almost identical figures.

    Which makes acupuncture far safer than conventional methods of treatment such as drug therapy

    What if I’m scared of Needles?

    There are other treatments methods available such as Acupressure; however, many people who start out afraid of needles find that after their first treatment the fear eases and ultimately goes away.  It is a good idea to discuss the nature of your fear with one of our clinicians.  In most cases, any fear relates to the anxiety of the unknown and thinking that it will be a painful experience.  However, the needles are so fine that often a patient is unaware that the first needle has been inserted.

    Most people find the process of an acupuncture treatment a very pleasant process and incredibly relaxing.

    How many sessions would I need?

    This will depend on several factors; including, condition, severity of symptoms, how long the condition has existed etc., and will be discussed with you prior to any treatment commencing. It can be anything ranging from a single treatment to a course of say 10 treatments or even longer.

    How often would I need to come?

    It is often, but not always, best to have your first few treatments as close together as possible. This will be discussed with you prior to any treatment commencing. Preventative or maintenance treatments can be prescribed as infrequently as monthly

    How many needles do you use?

    This will depend on the condition being treated, etc, and can vary not only from person to person but from treatment to treatment.  It can be as few as one or as many as 30

    Where do the needles go?

    This will depend on the condition being treated, severity, etc and will often vary as treatment progresses and symptoms change. The rationale for the location of the points used is not always immediately obvious to the patient.  So, don’t worry if you are presenting with haemorrhoids as one of the major points for the treatment of haemorrhoids and other forms of prolepses is at the top of the head!

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