Why have acupuncture?
Thousands of people in the UK and around the world have found treatment beneficial for a variety of symptoms. Some come for acupuncture to relieve specific pains , e.g. osteoarthritis of the knee; some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health; as a preventative measure, and to improve their general sense of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children, and can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.
What happens when I get there?
Your first consultation involves lots of questions and treatment. Your acupuncturist will take your pulses and explain to you what to expect with the needles and then talk you through it as she inserts them. Remember you are the boss and can say whether you don’t like something and also feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
After the needles have been inserted then you are left to relax with your needles in for half an hour or so.
How does acupuncture work?
The only theory that explains the effectiveness of acupuncture is the Chinese medical model of channels of energy (qi) running through the body that we are able to affect with the needles at particular junctions known as points. As western medicine only discovered about 100 years ago, nothing is solid and everything is made of energy. So, by being able to affect the energy of the body with acupuncture, we are able to bring about beneficial changes in your mental and physical health.
What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is remarkably effective for a wide range of conditions including those not easily explained by western medicine and also when there is no ‘named’ disease, as is often the case. Treatment is safe for everyone, from children to the elderly and pregnant women.
Acupuncture treatment focuses on the causes of disease as well as the symptoms. For example, we treat the cause of the pain rather than just providing pain relief. By addressing the underlying problem we aim to prevent future recurrences rather than merely suppressing symptoms. As a positive side effect, treatment can also boost the immune system and increase levels of energy and well-being. It can also be extremely helpful in moderating the side effects of medication.
Due to new regulations from the ASA (the Advertising Standards Agency) it is not permitted to mention any specific condition that acupuncture can help. If you wish to enquire about a specific condition please call us.
To learn more about the theory of acupuncture and Chinese medicine go to the British Acupuncture Council’s website at www.acupuncture.org.uk
How many sessions will I need?
Improvements may be experienced after just one treatment, however a number of sessions are usually required for a lasting change. The number of sessions needed depend on how chronic or acute your condition is and your overall energy levels. We tend to see most people for a minimum of 5 – 6 weekly sessions and then more often than not, people return less frequently for maintenance treatment. We will talk through what you hope to achieve at your first consultation and continually evaluate your progress
How long is a session?
The first session lasts about 1 hour and involves lots of questions and treatment. We will also assess your health by looking at your tongue and listening to your pulses. Your own personal diagnosis and treatment plan will then be drawn up. Whilst treatment will be based on this plan, we also work instinctively with each patient as an individual. Drawing on our many years of experience we assess your physical and emotional state on the day of treatment and tailor the structure of each treatment to how you are now as well as taking into consideration your case history. Subsequent follow-up sessions last approximately 45 minutes.
What happens during a session?
The session is divided between talking/feedback and treatment that involves lying or sitting on a couch.
Treatment generally involves the insertion of fine, sterile, stainless steel needles into various points on the body, however, we may also use one or more of the following:
moxibustion: the application of heat via the herb Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) to a point or area of the body
cupping: suction cups, often used to stimulate a specific area
oils: generally used along with cupping to warm and energise
electro acupuncture: a gentle pulsation is applied to specific needles to clear pain and move stagnation
auricular acupuncture: tiny needles are inserted into points in the ears. This is a deeply relaxing treatment particularly effective for stress-related conditions.
medical/trigger point acupuncture: needles are inserted into muscles to release and relax
People commonly experience a pleasant feeling of deep relaxation during treatment.
Does acupuncture conflict with western medicine?
Acupuncture can be used safely alongside western medicine. It can also be used to alleviate the side effects of western medical treatment such as those experienced in chemo and radio therapy.
Can I keep taking my medication?
There are no contraindications between western drugs and acupuncture. In fact, acupuncture may help reduce the side effects of some medicines. You may keep taking your drugs or you may find that (with the consent of your doctor) you are able to reduce your dependency on them as a direct result of the acupuncture treatment. For example, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your use of painkillers, antidepressants or asthma medication under the guidance of your GP.
Will my insurance pay for acupuncture?
Many insurance companies now cover acupuncture treatment by either self-referral or referral from your GP or specialist. If uncertain, please check with your insurer.