1 Cockburn Halls, George St, Ormiston

Clinic Hours:

9:00am – 5:00pm (Mon and Thu) 

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What Happens when you have Acupuncture

Acupuncture skin pierced

Normally, during acupuncture consultation or treatment, it goes something like this:

Taking your Case

First your case is ‘taken’. This means listening to you and taking notes, then examining you.

During an acupuncture consultation, taking your Case!

Often a physical examination reveals sore places on your body that help to explain or identify sources of your problem. (Until found, you might not even know you had such sore places!)

We may check various parts of your body, legs, arms or head. Sometimes sore points are on your feet or hands.

Pulse and Tongue

Usually, your tongue will be examined, and your pulse felt at your wrists using a special method developed in China – quite different from the way a nurse takes your pulse.

Taking your Pulse the Chinese way


Eventually, you get a diagnosis. This might be in terms of a ‘syndrome’ in Chinese medicine or explained in terms of acupuncture ‘channels‘ or related to your health or health history.

With a diagnosis, treatment can be planned.

By the way …! Wondering how Chinese medicine explains many common ‘diseases’? Have a look at our sister-site’s page on Common Diseases.

It does NOT include everything we use acupuncture for – in fact it hardly begins to cover the range of conditions we treat, but it’s a start! We add pages as and when we have time.

The Treatment

With your consent, we insert needles carefully into chosen points. The location may be swabbed with an alcoholic swab before treatment. We use only single-use needles – no needle is ever re-used.

Inserting the needles is quick and unfussy. People expect it to hurt but it seldom does. If it does, it’s like plucking a hair from an eyebrow.

During acupuncture, how big are the needles?

Once a needle is inserted it may be gently manipulated to achieve the effect desired. As this happens you may feel a heavy, slightly cramping ache – almost numbness – near or related to the needle, called DEQI (pronounced ‘day-chee!‘) Sometimes it’s more like a ‘twitch’.

We use acupuncture for pain – true! But we use it for many other problems too, ranging from family planning to insomnia.

Often needles are left in place for a while to do their work.

However, sometimes, after referring back to your pulse or where there was previously a sore spot discovered during the original examination, a needle can be removed having done its job.

During Acupuncture

People generally feel relaxed and sleepy while the needles do their job. Music may help them doze.

Afterwards …

After removing them, needles go into special ‘sharps’ containers.

Sharps box for used needles

You can then get up, dress, and arrange your next appointment.

If the treatment made you feel very relaxed (often the case!) before you drive away please go for a brisk walk and/or have a cup of Indian tea.

On the other hand, if treatment has exhilarated you, try to take things slowly and postpone big decisions for a day or two.

If you find yourself newly pain-free or energised, please don’t immediately test your resilience! It takes time for your body to adjust to its new feelings. Remember, it may have taken years for a condition to develop: your body probably can’t repair it completely in just a day or two. Give it time! Go slow!


You may receive advice on nutrition, on exercise or lifestyle. The advice is often important for ensuring your treatment continues to work and your body doesn’t revert to its former condition.

For example, if your problem is caused by Cold, then we’ll probably suggest you avoid cold-type foods. So if we’ve given you a warming treatment, please don’t go out and eat ice cream!

Keep Notes until next time

Then please keep summary notes of how you feel until your next treatment.

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