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  • What can I expect in my initial consultation?
    Your first appointment, which could last up to 90 minutes, will involve a discussion about your health, any problems that you want addressing, plus information about you and your family including medical history, dietary and exercise habits and your sleeping patterns. This will help me to gain an overall picture of your health. I’ll check your pulse and tongue before recommending a treatment plan and acupuncture point ‘prescription’. I may also recommend techniques including palpation, the use of acupuncture (the use of extremely thin needles), cupping, gua - sha, seven-star needle technique, moxa, electro acupuncture treatments, as well as dietary and lifestyle advice.
  • Are there any side effects or risks?
    Acupuncture and massage are extremely safe and effective forms of alternative therapy. Correctly and professionally done, acupuncture rarely causes serious side effects. Changes can occur - such as to your appetite, bowel or urination patterns or emotional state. This is simply an indication that the body is starting to rebalance itself and is nothing to be concerned about. Some patients feel 'spaced out' after a treatment or just deeply relaxed & sleepy. Care must obviously be taken if returning to work or driving after a treatment. There are other risks, but these are generally extremely rare: bruising, fainting, muscle spasm, slight bleeding, nerve damage and pneumothorax. Treatments using cupping or Gua Sha will most certainly leave bruising and can last for up to five days. Whatever your treatment involves, rest assured extreme care is taken at all times and your health and wellbeing is of utmost importance. I am always happy to discuss with you any concerns that you may have.
  • Can I drive after acupuncture?
    Yes, you can. Some patients feel 'spaced out' after a treatment or just deeply relaxed & sleepy. Please take care to ensure that you are aware of your abilities, particularly when driving or operating any machinery.
  • How will I feel after my treatment?
    You may feel calm, deeply relaxed, or even energised and invigorated, depending on what the goal of your session and treatment was.
  • Does acupuncture hurt?
    Done properly, acupuncture doesn't hurt. The needles are extremely fine. Needles can be left in place for up to 40 minutes or can be inserted & immediately removed, depending on the treatment and needs of the patient. If at any time you might feel uncomfortable, we can take a moment, or stop completely. This is extremely rare and most clients find the experience very relaxing.
  • Do you use animal products in your Chinese Herbal Medicine?
    No. The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine prohibits this and the UK has a restriction in place forbidding the use of any animal product. My clinic supports the work of Animals Asia which is devoted to ending the barbaric practice of bear bile farming.
  • My doctor does acupuncture. Isn't that the same thing?
    No. most GPs, physiotherapists, osteopaths etc have a qualification in ‘medical acupuncture’. Often this training involves a weekend course and although it can be useful they will not be addressing the same areas that a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner does. I am a member of The British Acupuncture Council which is the UK’s main regulatory body for the practice of acupuncture. It was formed in 1995 and as a member excellence is guaranteed in the following areas: Training: three-year undergraduate degree level training Safe Practice: its standards are drawn up in consultation with internationally renowned experts Ethical Behaviour: rules are monitored and enforced with the help of experienced practitioners and independent non-acupuncturists.
  • GDPR information
    GDPR is a complex thing but we aim to be 100% compliant! there are 2 sections - 1 is the clinic GDPR statement about when you attend for treatment. The 2nd is what happens when you submit request for information or treatment. 1: GDPR Privacy Statement (Why we collect your personal data and what we do with it) When you supply your personal details to this clinic they are stored and processed for 4 reasons (the bits in bold are the relevant terms used in the Data protection Act 2018, which includes the General Data Protection Regulation – ie the law): 1. We need to collect personal information about your health in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. Your requesting treatment and our agreement to provide that care constitutes a contract. You can, of course, refuse to provide the information, but if you were to do that we would not be able to provide treatment. 2. We have a “Legitimate Interest” in collecting that information, because without it we couldn’t do our job effectively and safely. 3. We also think that it is important that we can contact you in order to confirm your appointments with us or to update you on matters related to your medical care. This again constitutes “Legitimate Interest”, but this time it is your legitimate interest. 4. Provided we have your consent, we may occasionally send you general health information in the form of articles, advice or newsletters. You may withdraw this consent at any time – just let us know by any convenient method. We have a legal obligation to retain your records for 8 years after your most recent appointment (or age 25, if this is longer), but after this period you can ask us to delete your records if you wish. Otherwise, we will retain your records indefinitely in order that we can provide you with the best possible care should you need to see us at some future date. Your records are stored 1 on paper, in locked filing cabinets, and the offices are always locked out of working hours. 2 electronically (“in the cloud”), using a specialist medical records service. This provider has given us their assurances that they are fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations. Access to this data is password protected, and the passwords are changed regularly. 3 on our office computers. These are password-protected, backed up regularly, and the office(s) are locked out of working hours. 4 on our mobile phone – this is password protected and backed up regularly. We will never share your data with anyone who does not need access without your written consent. Only the following people/agencies will have routine access to your data: • The medical records service who store and process our files • Your practitioner(s) in order that they can provide you with treatment • Our reception staff, because they organise our practitioners’ diaries, and coordinate appointments and reminders (but they do not have access to your medical history or sensitive personal information) • Other administrative staff, such as our bookkeeper. Again, administrative staff will not have access to your medical notes, just your essential contact details. From time to time, we may have to employ consultants to perform tasks which might give them access to your personal data (but not your medical notes). We will ensure that they are fully aware that they must treat that information as confidential, and we will ensure that they sign a non-disclosure agreement. You have the right to see what personal data of yours we hold, and you can also ask us to correct any factual errors. Provided the legal minimum period has elapsed, you can also ask us to erase your records. We want you to be absolutely confident that we are treating your personal data responsibly, and that we are doing everything we can to make sure that the only people who can access that data have a genuine need to do so. Of course, if you feel that we are mishandling your personal data in some way, you have the right to complain. Complaints need to be sent to what is referred to in the jargon as the “Data Controller”. Here are the details you need for that: Nicola Court Unit 91/92 Greenway Business Centre Harlow Essex CM19 5QE If you are not satisfied with our response, then you have the right to raise the matter with the Information Commissioner’s Office. 2:GDPR Consent Form Title: Treatment Information Request Form Introduction: Thank you for your interest in our treatments. To provide you with the information you need, we require your consent to collect and process your personal data. Please read the following information and indicate your consent below. By filling out the form you consent to the collection and processing of my full name for the purpose of providing information about treatments in the clinic. Your email address/ phone number will be processed for the purpose of providing information about treatments. By providing personal data, you are consenting to the collection and processing of this information for the sole purpose of receiving information about treatments in the clinic. Your data will be handled in accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Data Security: We are committed to protecting the security of your personal information. Your data will be stored securely and will not be shared with third parties without your explicit consent. Withdrawal of Consent: You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. To do so, please contact us at [your contact email/phone]. Upon withdrawal of consent, your data will be securely deleted.
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