illustration of acupuncture needle

Frequently Asked Questions

illustration of acupuncture needle

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world. I use a range of diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for thousands of years. The focus is on you as an individual and treatments are focused on each individuals’ symptoms. Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of your body’s qi, or vital energy.


How do Acupuncture needles work?

Acupuncture needles differ from these hypodermic syringes in that they are much finer and solid rather than hollow. Acupuncture needles are designed to part the skin without cutting the tissue. The sterile stainless-steel needles which are commonly used have a diameter of between 0.25mm to 0.45mm – about the thickness of a human hair.

It is vital that you tell your practitioner if you suffer from any diseases transmissible by blood (e.g. HIV, AIDS, hepatitis etc.) or if you are on any blood thinning medication. These facts should come out during our Case History discussion, but you must disclose them.

It is also vital to let me know if you are (or even suspect that you might be) pregnant, as some acupoints are not used during pregnancy, and neither you nor your practitioner will want to take any unnecessary risks with your pregnancy.


Is Acupuncture safe and is it painful?

Acupuncture is a safe form of treatment when performed by a well-trained, conscientious practitioner who has a good knowledge of human anatomy and who uses single-use sterile disposable needles. As a member of the acupuncture council of Ireland, I am bound by a Code of Clinical Practice – which includes the use of sterile single-use disposable needles. In addition, as a medical professional with over 20 years’ experience in a triple A rated hospital in Hanzhong China and in the Rotunda hospital here in Dublin, I have a very high level of clinical and diagnostic skills. Most people find it painless or occasionally mildly uncomfortable. The most common reaction is for people to feel the treatment very relaxing and some people fall asleep during treatments.


Are there any side effects?

There are very few side effects from acupuncture when practiced by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional acupuncture. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points are mild and self-correcting.


How many treatments will I need?

The amount of treatments you need will depend on the condition you are presenting with and your general lifestyle. In general guide, most people will see significant improvement within 4 to 6 weekly sessions. For conditions that have been present for a very long time this may take longer.


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine and conventional medicine are used together in Asia and increasingly in western medicine. This combination extends to GP practices and hospital care in China. The key is to have a practitioner who understands how to use TCM in conjunction with ongoing treatments, in order to ensure long term benefits for the client. I believe that my medical training and experience alongside my acupuncture and TCM expertise can yield long term health benefits for my clients.


What are the benefits of Acupuncture?

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 arthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee, headaches and lower 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.


Fertility

Acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. Acupuncture helps to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked, thereby increasing a couple's chances of conceiving.


Is Acupuncture covered by health insurance?

The main health insurance providers in Ireland e.g VHI, LAYA, Irish Life Health, do offer cover for acupuncture treatments, but you should check with your own policy plan provider first.