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Frequently Asked Questions

What to expect on your first treatment

The first session is approximately 1¼  hours long. During this time we will talk through your full medical history, and use other diagnostic tools such as examining your tongue and pulse, to get an overall picture of your current state of health. Based on this information I will then make a diagnosis and create your own personalised treatment plan.

Several specific acupuncture points will be selected and individually wrapped, single use, sterile needles will be used for your treatment. Most points are on the arms or legs so it is advisable to wear loose clothing, however occasionally some items of clothing may have to be removed so in this instance appropriate draping will be used.

Most people find the treatments extremely relaxing. The needles are much finer than those used for injections and you may not feel the needles go in, or sometimes a brief sting as the needle is inserted. Once they are in you may feel a tingling sensation or a dull ache.

What can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture treats the whole person and is therefore effective for a huge range of conditions. If your unsure if acupuncture is for you the best thing to do is give me a call and we can discuss your symptoms and then decide if you will benefit from a course of treatment. A growing body of evidence-based clinical research is discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health conditions.

A lot of people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Other people choose acupuncture when they can feel their bodily functions are out of balance, but they have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.

Does it hurt?

Most people find the treatments extremely relaxing, the needles are much finer than those used for injections and you may not feel the needles go in, or sometimes a brief sensation as the needle is inserted. Once they are in you may feel a tingling sensation or a dull ache. I tailor my treatments to the individual and have a lot of experience treating people with needle phobias. If someone is particularly nervous I can use my finer needles and ensure they have as little sensation as possible. Some cases may require a stronger treatment but this will always be discussed and agreed upon with my patient.

Is it safe?

The safety of acupuncture has been demonstrated by two large, well designed surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (1, 2). They concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000 (much less than many medical treatments). Only a small number of minor and short-term side effects such as dizziness and bruising were recorded.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of acupuncture sessions needed depends on the individual condition. I would often recommend a course of 5 or 6 treatments, however sometimes just one or two treatments are sufficient and sometimes chronic conditions will need a few more. Some people choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain good health, and I sometimes recommend monthly maintenance treatments when appropriate.

Will my private Health insurance cover the cost?

As acupunctures beneficial effects become more widely recognised, more and more private health insurance companies are offering to cover acupuncture treatments by British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) Members.

Each private health insurer will have their own criteria and policy details vary. Some policies will require a signed referral to the acupuncturist from your GP, but there are also many who do not.

Please note all treatments will have to be paid by you first and will then later be reimbursed by the by the insurer afterwards.

Click here to download a non exhaustive list of some of the insurance companies which approve BAaC members.

How much does it cost?

Knowle clinic costs
Initial consultation and first acupuncture treatment costs £45 (1hr – 1 1/4 hrs).
Follow up acupuncture treatments cost £40 (45min – 1hr) in Knowle and £40 in Stapleton.

The Clifton Practice costs
Initial consultation and first acupuncture treatment costs £50 (1hr – 1 1/4 hrs).
Follow up acupuncture treatments cost £45 (45min – 1hr).

Cancellations

There is often a waiting list for appointments so if you need to change or cancel please let me know as soon as possible so another patient can be booked in.

Please note that cancellations with less than 24 hours notice may be charged the whole session fee subject to circumstances.

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Gemma Alexander Acupuncture

MBAcC BSc (Hons)