Frequently-Asked Questions

Robin Costello BSc. DipAc. MBAcC. CertAc(China)
Duryard Valley Clinic, 5 High Croft, Exeter EX4 4JQ

Tel: 01392 424276

What can acupuncture treat?

There are over 1000 recommendations for treatment of more than 100 conditions, enshrined in clinical practice guidelines across 30 countries. You are welcome to call me about your specific complaint, or you can read my Conditions Treated page.

How many sessions will I need?

Weekly sessions are usually offered to begin with. I might suggest five or six depending on your condition, after which we will review progress & decide what to do next.

How much does it cost?

Sessions cost £45 for 45 minutes.

How do I book an appointment?

You can call me on 01392 424276 between 8.00am and 6.00pm Mondays to Fridays.

How do I find the clinic?

Duryard Valley Clinic, 5 High Croft, Exeter EX4 4JQ. You will find me on the edge of Exeter University main campus, between Birks Grange and Duryard Halls. You can see detailed directions here.

Should I tell my GP I’m having acupuncture?

I always encourage patients to tell their GP, and GPs in turn are usually keen to hear of other treatments which their patients have found helpful.

How does coronavirus affect having acupuncture?

Fortunately, more regular consultations eg for general wellbeing, have resumed, and you can book an appointment for one of those now. You may wish to re-commence treatment that we already had underway, or you may be feeling residual anxiety or stress from what has happened to us all since March. Whatever it is, please do get in touch and I would be delighted to welcome you back.

Patients with an Increased Risk Status:
If you fall into this category, I will risk assess you for attendance, and you should be aware that because acupuncture involves touch and close proximity, there may be an elevated risk of disease transmission. This category includes firstly the following “clinically vulnerable” people.
– Anyone aged 70 and older.
– Anyone under 70 with an underlying health condition. This means anyone instructed as an adult to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds because they have for example mild to moderate respiratory disease, heart/liver/kidney disease, a chronic neurological condition, or are immunocompromised due to steroids, HIV etc.
– Pregnant women.
– The seriously overweight ie a BMI of 40 or above.

It also includes the list of “clinically extremely vulnerable” people. This list includes but is not limited to, recipients of organ transplants, those with specific cancers or who are undergoing chemotherapy, those with severe asthma or COPD, and anyone on an immunosuppression therapy which would significantly increase infection risk.

Patients Categories I Cannot See:
– Those with Covid-19 symptoms or who have tested positive. You must stay at home and cannot attend my practice for a minimum of 10 days.
– Those who have had non-socially distanced contact with a person exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms eg a partner. You must remain at home for 14 days, beginning with the day on which the first person fell ill.
– Those who are in temporary quarantine after returning from abroad.
– Those who have been asked by NHS test & trace, to self-isolate.

General: As movement restrictions ease, remember acupuncture clinics are not classed as ‘social’ settings and are a one-to-one therapeutic encounter. Importantly, acupuncture contributes significantly to the physical health and emotional wellbeing of my patients. That’s particularly relevant for the next few months, where the stress and anxiety which has been induced in people can undermine the effectiveness of their immune systems. Treatment is in fact deemed essential by many, and if you fall into this category, then I really do look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Special consideration though must be given to the practitioner’s health, the patient’s current health, hand washing practices and surface cleaning.

I am happy that I have the necessary hygiene and cleaning procedures in place. I will be washing my hands at the requisite stages, even more frequently than I had to before the virus arrived. Intervals are left between appointments for thorough cleaning. This allows couch and all other surfaces & door handles to be disinfected and air-dried between patients, and means you should not have to pass anyone when entering or leaving the clinic. You will lie on a clean, single-use paper couch cover. Needles are all single-use and pre-sterilised, as before.

What you need to do: On your part, I just ask firstly that you arrive at the door punctually, and definitely no earlier than your appointment time. Secondly, please use the hand gel provided to clean your hands on arrival. Thirdly, always call me in advance if you have fallen into the category above of patients I am unable to see; we can re-schedule for a later date, and keep the situation under review.

If you’ve any remaining concerns, you are welcome to call me.