Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine originating in China and the Far East. In this system of medicine, the source of health is the vitality and smooth flow of the body life force, or qi, which flows in the energy channels, or meridians, of the body. The energy, or qi, can be disturbed by physical, mental or emotional factors such as stress, grief or trauma. By inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body, Acupuncture can restore balance to the flow of energy and enhance the health of the entire system.
There are two main styles of Acupuncture: Traditional Acupuncture and Western Medical Acupuncture. In the clinic, as members of the British Acupuncture Council, we practise Traditional Acupuncture, which is a holistic approach to health. This approach seeks to restore balance in the body and to enhance the person's ability to heal themselves, rather than to remove symptoms, which may then reappear.
Acupuncture is a traditional system of medicine that can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Increasingly, modern life places a strain on our body's ability to maintain balance and well-being, and many people suffer chronic health problems as a result.
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of complaints, such as: asthma, sinusitis, certain skin conditions, headaches, neuralgia, arthritis, back pain and digestive complaints. In the clinic, we also successfully treat many patients experiencing stress and depression, menstrual and gynaecological conditions and problems relating to fertility and pregnancy.
Acupuncture can also be used to maintain a person's health. Many patients come for regular treatment to maintain their health. We also offer courses of treatment for facial revitalisation, in order to impart a sense of well-being and to improve the lustre, smoothness and radiance to the skin.
Acupuncture, as it is practiced by a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, is a holistic approach to health. The practitioner will consider lifestyle and emotions as well as the physical symptoms. Symptoms result from an underlying imbalance, or weakness, in the system. The aim of the treatment is generally to tackle both aspects to try and stop them re-occurring.
Many of the commonly used acupuncture points are on the limbs but there are many important points on the body and head.
The sterile needles used in acupuncture are much finer than those used with an injection and so rarely hurt. Once the needle is inserted clients may feel a sensation which is an indication that the body is responding appropriately. The needles may be left in place for a few seconds, or up to 20 minutes, depending on the condition. The depth also varies according to the individual and what the acupuncturist is attempting to achieve. Usually people find the experience extremely relaxing and often clients fall asleep.
Some other techniques that are used to stimulate acupuncture-points include acupressure, massage, electro-acupuncture or the warming of the point with herbs (moxa). Such techniques all help to boost overall vitality and well-being.
Yes, if practiced by an accredited practitioner. Safety is a major facet of acupuncture treatment and it rarely has side-effects, which makes it particularly helpful, for example, to women who are pregnant.
Interestingly, it can also be used to off-set the side-effects of essential, conventional treatments such as chemotherapy.
Acupuncture can treat conditions affecting all the systems of the body including: respiration, digestion, circulation and the immune system.
Increasingly, it is being used, together with Chinese herbs, to support fertility treatment.
The human body is a miracle of interacting systems maintaining balances which are recognised as 'good health'. When these subtle balances become disturbed, (become under- or over-active), due to, maybe, constitutional weakness, catching a bug, or through the effects of lifestyle, people eventually begin to notice problems. Acupuncture is particularly effective in treating these functional problems. At this stage, there may be nothing seriously wrong at an organic level but, nevertheless, the effects can be profoundly debilitating.
Acupuncture is a "light-touch" therapy - analogous to re-tuning a car's engine - which gently encourages the body to sort out its own problems.
The pulse is a very sensitive indicator of health and can show up weaknesses even before symptoms manifest themselves.
The practitioner will examine the pulses on a client's wrists before deciding on the correct treatment. There are 3 main positions on each wrist related to different systems in the body. The practitioner looks for several different aspects of the pulse including the rate, regularity, strength and resilience. The combination of these and other pulse qualities can indicate the nature and location of imbalances in the body.
This initial pulse-taking process can take 30-40 minutes.
A. For most conditions the initial consultation (case taking and pulse diagnosis) and acupuncture treatment take between one and a half and two hours. Occasionally, simple musculo-skeletal problems can take less. Follow-up treatments usually last about three quarters of an hour.
This will depend largely on the nature of the condition as well as how deep or longstanding it is. Often a noticeable improvement is made within 3-4 weeks. Some conditions, such as those related to periods or fertility require longer to see results. Other chronic conditions such as MS may require regular but less frequent treatments to minimise symptoms.
As acupuncture can effectively help the body deal with the effects of stress as well as stimulate the immune system, some people like to have regular treatments to maintain their general level of health by coming every 6 or 8 weeks or so. Others prefer to come at the change of season or when they are under particular stress.