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Who benefits from acupuncture?

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.

Your questions

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 be used.

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Can I drive after treatment?

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 ...!).