All sorts of people. It has a well-known reputation for pain relief, but this is
not all. People with various other problems, not involving pain, have reported benefits.
There is a growing body of evidence that acupuncture is efficacious for some particular
conditions. However, in holistic acupuncture practice the aim is helping the individual
to optimise their health, rather than treating a specific disease.
Is it safe?
Yes, in properly trained hands it is safe, even safer than the drugs or surgical
treatments it may complement. Sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no
risk of diseases spreading from one person to another.
Does it hurt?
Most people do not have significant discomfort - most find the treatment very relaxing,
even pleasurable. Commonly a distinct sensation is felt around the needles. This
is called Deqi (pronounced der-chee, translated as ‘arrival of the energy’) and is
taken to be a good sign. The needles are very fine and flexible, and are usually
inserted only a few millimetres. If this is a worry, needle-free techniques can
With caution. Most people are perfectly OK to drive. Occasionally a profound relaxation
or sleepiness may come on after a treatment, sometimes immediately, or a few hours
later. This ‘healing sleep’ can be very beneficial, so I encourage people to take
advantage of it, where possible (but not while driving ...!).