What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a key part of Chinese Medicine and has been used for over 3000 years. It harmonises the balance of the body through pathways. These pathways are called meridians and acupuncture works by inserting needles at specific points in the meridians in order to stimulate the body’s own innate mechanisms to heal itself and/or to rebalance any humours that may have arisen within the body due to illness.
The effects of the treatment can be dramatic and sometimes only one or two treatments are required. With other patients, the effects are subtle and treatment may be needed over several months.
Is it safe?
Yes, absolutely. Acupuncture is a safe practice for all. The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) lays down stringent standards of hygiene and sterilisation for needles and their equipment. These procedures have been approved by the Department of Health and provide protection against the transmission of infectious diseases. All members of the BAcC are obliged to follow this Code of Practice and are regularly checked to ensure that they are meeting these standards.
Who has acupuncture?
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. This include anxiety disorders, joint pains, back pains, respiratory and circulatory problems, specific men and women’s health issues, reproductive system problems, skin conditions, etc.
Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to be effective in helping couples to conceive, managing pregnancy and for the relief of pain in childbirth. It has also been shown to be a useful aid for people trying to overcome addictions, i.e. smoking, alcohol, food or drugs.
Some people may have acupuncture as a preventative measure to strengthen their constitution or because they feel unwell in themselves without actually being ill in the Western medical sense. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine in the treatment of both acute and chronic disease.
What does it feel like?
Most people’s prior experiences of needles are generally those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these! They are much finer and are thin and solid rather than thick and narrow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache. During the acupuncture treatment patients commonly experience a calming heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleeping patterns as well as an enhanced sense of overall well-being.
How often will I need treatment?
In traditional acupuncture philosophy each person is considered as a unique individual. Therefore the number of treatments required depends on the individual. Some change is often felt after five treatments. Normally you are recommended to visit once or twice a week at first, although some conditions may need more frequent attention.