What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world. Acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for thousands of years. The focus is on you as an individual, not your illness, and all symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
How does Acupuncture work?
Traditional acupuncturists believe the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection and injury are among the most common. After a detailed consultation covering every aspect of your health and lifestyle, the acupuncturist decides which points are right for you? They insert ultra-fine sterile needles at precisely located points to connect with your body's qi. The aim is to direct the flow of qi to trigger your body's healing response and to restore physical, emotional and mental equilibrium. Treatment is designed to affect your whole being as well as the symptoms so, as the condition being treated improves, you may notice other health problems
resolve and an increased feeling of well-being.
How many treatments will I need?
Until I have taken an initial consultation, given a treatment and received feedback on how you have responded, it is hard to give a specific number. Acute conditions would need more frequent treatment than chronic conditions. Mostly I follow up within 2 weeks and continue fortnightly until such time that the body's qi has rebalanced and stabilised and the main complaints are improving.
Once stable I would see a client once every 3/4 weeks and as the intensity or frequency of the complaint reduces further, ask the client to return every 6 weeks. Throughout the process, the main complaints are reviewed to assess progress. Ideally a client comes for a pre-season treatment to help the body's qi transform from one season to the next to prevent illness 4 times a year. For example treatments in Winter/Spring to prevent hay fever in Spring/Summer. This was the traditional approach to Chinese medicine and acupuncture,
preventing illness not treating illness.
What to expect from a treatment?
Before attending your first visit, wear clothing that allows easy access to the lower arms and lower legs and do not attend on an empty stomach. On the first visit I need to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint and your general health and lifestyle. This involves asking questions about your medical history, sleep patterns, appetite and digestion. For women, I ask about your menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth.
You may feel some the questions are unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps the practitioner to form a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. I will also take the pulse on both your wrists and examine your tongue.
There might likely be some suggestions which can enhance the long-term effects of your treatment. This may involve some changes to your diet and daily practice.
What is holistic treatment?
The holistic approach to healthcare could be said to take a different approach to "conventional” medicine. Most conventional medical treatments are aimed at a specific symptom or ailment, such as a bad back or a cold. A holistic practitioner would attempt to work on the underlying causes of these symptoms, in an attempt to stop the symptoms from reoccurring.
Where are the Acupuncture points?
Acupuncture points are located at precise places along interconnected pathways that map the whole body, including the head, trunk, limbs. The most commonly used acupuncture points are on the lower arms and legs.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
A growing body of evidence-based clinical research is discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health conditions. A lot of people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis, TMJ, headaches and lower back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Other people choose acupuncture when they feel their bodily functions are out of balance, but they have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it beneficial and relaxing.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments, both conventional and complementary, on offer in the U.K. Two surveys conducted independently of each other published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded the risk of a serious reaction is less than 1 in 10,000. This is far less than many orthodox treatments.
As a member of the British Acupuncture Council, I use only pre-sterilised single-use needles which are safely disposed of after treatment. All treatments are carried out with exemplary professional standards detailed in the BAcC. Code of Safe Practice. I have a full medical malpractice and public/product liability cover
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don't feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or a dull ache as the acupuncturist adjusts the needle to direct Qi. While the needles are in place most people feel deeply relaxed which can continue after they are removed.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally a small bruise can appear at a needle site. Sometimes people feel dizzy after a treatment but this usually passes quickly. After the treatment you may feel tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery after your treatment. You should refrain from vigorous exercise and ideally give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after the treatment.
Should I still take my prescribed medication whilst I'm having a course of Acupuncture?
Yes, absolutely. It would only be with the consultation and advice from your GP that any changes to your prescribed medication would occur. If there are any changes during a course of treatment, it is important to keep me informed.
What is the history of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional medicine that has been practised in China and the Far East for thousands of years. It is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental to be a sign the whole body is out of balance. That is until the 1940's when the Chinese communist government commissioned the development of a uniform system of diagnosis and treatment - the idea of individual treatments was unacceptable. This is somewhat misleadingly referred to as TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Up to this point nearly all training had been apprentice-style with masters and within families. As a consequence, there are many different styles of acupuncture which share a common root but are distinct and different in their emphasis. My style is Traditional Daoist Acupuncture, using 5 Elements and Stems and Branches, predating 1940's TCM.
Acupuncture has been developed, tested, researched and refined to give a detailed understanding of the body's energetic balance. Without the benefit of modern scientific equipment, the first acupuncturists discovered many now familiar aspects of biomedical science, such as the impact of emotional stress on the body. Traditional acupuncture has steadily grown in popularity in the U.K.since the 1970's.
What is Moxa?
Moxa is often used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the effect of the treatment. The dried herb, Moxa, is used like incense to gently and safely warm the body, relax the muscles and supplement qi.