Can I have acupuncture alongside other treatments?

My clients often ask me if they can have acupuncture alongside other treatments. They may already be having other therapy or want to start something new while also having acupuncture.

My advice is always, if it helps, continue. Having acupuncture doesn't mean you can't try any other treatment or therapy. Saying that, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor if you are unsure, and ask them for any evidence that acupuncture might be harmful to you if you are undergoing any pharmaceutical or surgical treatments.

Acupuncture works very well alongside many other therapies such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and massage. In fact, many of these practitioners offer ‘dry-needling’ within their practice - but that’s a whole different story!

Western medicine tends to have a more systematic approach (to most things!) and usually advise that you have one type of treatment at once, for example, have physio for 6 weeks first, then if that doesn’t work try acupuncture for 6 weeks, etc.. to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

While I understand the logic, sometimes the body responds much better, and quicker, to a combination of things. I believe everyone is a unique individual, some respond well to certain treatments, others don’t. The important thing is to find out what works for you. 

Your practitioner should never ask you to stop taking any medication or stop having treatment that you’ve been prescribed by your GP or healthcare practitioner. There are some medications that thin the blood, such as warfarin, and if you’re taking those it’s advised that you don’t have acupuncture. 

In my clinic, many clients have acupuncture alongside IVF treatment. This is completely safe, and no matter where you are within the treatment plan acupuncture can help with the stress, side effects of the medication, and preparing your body for pregnancy.