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How I work 

The initial consultation lasts approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours and during this time I will take a full medical history and undertake a series of non-invasive physical examinations including blood pressure readings. I also constantly evaluate a person’s physical, emotional and spiritual well being with the use of Chinese diagnostic skills which include the person’s emotional presentation, how they sound, the colour on their face and even their natural odour. I take the person’s pulses regularly, both wrists, as this is one of the main diagnostic tools in acupuncture.  

All that I do in an initial consultation will be thoroughly explained as I go along and patients are encouraged to ask questions to aid further understanding of the process.

The First treatment consists of a detox for your whole system.  I then choose a treatment that has been individually tailored for your needs.

The frequency of treatments depends upon the individual person and their response to treatment rather than the condition or symptom. Ideally, treatments are weekly to begin with and as the person improves visits become less frequent. Reviewing the progress of treatment is something I am constantly doing and I am also open to my patient’s telling me how they feel about the frequency of treatments and how they are progressing. Some patients choose to continue acupuncture treatment even though their “symptoms” have improved as a preventative measure and for general well-being. This could range from monthly to quarterly treatments per year. Other patients may return to treatment more regularly during times of physical or emotional stress to help support them through difficult periods. Essentially, the frequency of treatments is something I discuss with each individual patient and their specific needs.

Tools used in treatments

Very fine, disposable sterile needles are inserted into different acupuncture points on the body. The aim is to balance a person’s energy which in turn allows the person’s own natural healing process to begin. Other tools can be used along side the needles and include; Moxibustion, Cupping and Gua Sha.

Moxibustion is a Chinese herb that is placed over a point/s on the body which warms the acupuncture point allowing for a deeper level of treatment. This does not burn your skin in any way and each patient is individually assessed for the appropriateness of this treatment use.  

Cupping therapy involves placing special plastic or reinforced glass cups on the skin and removing the air from the cup. This is especially useful for muscular tension.

Gua Sha is similar to cupping but involves drawing a plastic or ceramic board about the size your palm over the skin. Both these treatments can cause a reddening of the skin but this disappears in a few days. 

Some common questions answered

Is Acupuncture safe?
Yes but always check the practitioner is fully qualified. Such qualifications should be displayed or made available upon request. The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) requires members to have a comprehensive understanding of Chinese Medical theory and western medical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture. The BAcC maintains common standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice to ensure the health and safety of the public at all times.

Does it hurt?
When most people think of needles they think about those used for injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles are very fine and most patients describe a dull, slightly aching sensation when the needle is inserted. It's not unpleasant and is a sign that the needle is doing what it is supposed to do.

How many sessions do I need?
Five Element acupuncture aims to use as few treatments as is possible to help you regain your health. It will vary depending on each individual and how long the condition has been present. Usually, treatments are weekly to begin with for 4-5 weeks – while some may not need this many others may need more. With improvements visits become less frequent.

Will I need to get undressed?
This depends on the acupuncture points that are being used for the individually tailored treatment. If the treatment does require you to be undressed your modesty will always be preserved with blankets and clothing. I will only ask you to undress if I feel that it is totally necessary and not otherwise.

Can I combine acupuncture with other treatments?
Yes. Acupuncture is safe to use alongside western medicine and other complementary medicines. If you are already under the care of another medical professional, there is no harm in telling them that you are receiving acupuncture treatment.

Is it confidential?
Yes, I abide by a strict code of confidentiality.

If there are any questions that have not been answered above, please feel free to contact me.

For any questions or to schedule an appointment please e-mail me at: lucy@lucybrett.co.uk