Community acupuncture takes place in a large room. Several reclining chairs are arranged around the room and clients are scheduled to come in at 15 minute intervals thoroughout the session. Gentle music is played, but clients are welcome to bring their own devices and headphones if they would like to. The acupuncturist spends 15 minutes consulting with and treating each client. Clients are then free to lie and relax with the needles in for as long as they would like to (I advise at least 20 minutes, up to one hour).
When you arrive for your first session, you will be asked to complete a 2 page medical history and consent form. This detailed form is used for confidentiality, so that other clients will not hear questions asked and answered. Please bear in mind that it may take a while for you to go through the tick lists on this form. Allow about 10 minutes for this before your first appointment. You will be given the intake form by the receptionist or (in Nairn) find it on the pool table on the left as you enter the acupuncture room.
The acupuncturist may be busy with another client when you come in. You are welcome to find yourself a seat in any free recliner and make yourself comfortable, keeping your completed intake form to hand. The acupuncturist will come over and look through your form and may clarify details such as exactly where the pain is, or any concerns that you may have about the treatment. She may ask to look at your tongue and take your pulse. The acupuncturist will then explain what treatments she proposes for the session. Treatments used include gua sha, pricking to bleed and acupuncture. If gua sha is used, you will be asked to sit in a massage chair, in a screened off area at the side of the room. For painful conditions, points on the toes or fingers might be pricked to bleed, after which you may be asked to walk around or move to test and improve the effectiveness of pain relief. Some needles may be placed in the hands or scalp before you are seated in the recliner, so that you can walk around to test and improve effectiveness. For the majority of the acupuncture, the acupuncturist will ask you to roll up your clothes to the knee and elbow and make you comfortable in the recliner. She will then place the needles and cover you with a lightweight blanket to keep you warm. At this point you should let the acupuncturist know if you need to leave by a certain time and she will note this down. The acupuncturist will then go on to treat other clients and you are asked to relax in the recliner. If you need anything during the relaxation period, you can just let the acupuncturist know.
After 20 minutes-1 hour, the acupuncturist will come over and remove the needles. Although every effort is made to check that all needles are out, you are asked to check this for yourself, particulary if the session is very busy! The acupuncturist will advise you on when you should come for follow up visits.
Please note there is no card payment facility in Nairn, but cards are accepted in Inverness. You pay what you feel you can afford on the sliding scale, no questions asked.