Acupuncture originated in the Far East where it still features in mainstream healthcare as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with modern Western medicine. These days acupuncture is widely used and accepted all over the world. In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them.
Acupuncture is just one of many Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment methods, other methods frequently used during treatment are acupressure, moxibustion, tuina massage, cupping, gua sha, lifestyle advice and nutritional advice based on food energetics. Acupuncture itself need not always be used, particularly when patients exhibit extreme needle phobia or have medical conditions such as haemophilia.
What Can Acupuncture Do For You?
Some people turn to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health or simply to improve their general sense of wellbeing. Some conditions I typically treat are:
- Recovery from injury, surgery
- Back ache, sciatica, joint pain
- Medication side effects, chemotherapy
- Stress, anxiety, low mood
- Migraines, headaches, tinnitus
- Women’s problems, pain, menopause
- Fertility (female and male), IVF support
- Routine pre-birth treatments
- Weight loss and stopping smoking
Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.
The Point of Acupuncture
For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons your systems can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in physical and or emotional pain and illness. In many instances acupuncture can be effective in supporting your body’s repair processes, restoring your balance and promoting physical and emotional harmony and recovery.
Treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem rather than just covering it up. As treatment is holistic you may notice other problems resolve as your main health complaint is treated. Many people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.
What Happens When You Go For Treatment?
I treat you as an individual and take a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment. I use a number of different diagnostic methods to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, including taking a full medical history, reading your pulses and examining your tongue. Based on this information I make a pattern diagnosis* and put together a personal treatment plan.
Acupuncture is just one TCM treatment method, other methods frequently used are acupressure, moxibustion, tuina massage, cupping, gua sha, lifestyle advice and nutritional advice based on food energetics. Acupuncture itself need not always be used, particularly when patients exhibit extreme needle phobia or have medical conditions such as haemophilia.
Once a diagnosis has been made and we have discussed its meaning and agreed on a treatment plan we can get on with treatment. Depending on the nature of your treatment I will ask you to lie on the couch or sit on a chair and I will gently start the treatment explaining always what I am doing and why. After the treatment most patients feel very relaxed and refreshed.
What Does It Feel Like?
Acupuncture needles are very much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted you may feel nothing or a tingling sensation or dull ache.
Other treatments such as cupping may leave temporary marks but this will be explained before treatment and if there are any concerns other treatment methods can be considered.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
After your initial consultation I will be able to give you a better prognosis and idea of the number and frequency of treatments, but as an example treating female infertility may initially require 12 treatments over 3 months, temporomandibular joint disorders or tinnitus can, depending on the root diagnosis, often be relieved with one or two treatments.
Health & Safety
I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). With over 3,000 members the BAcC is the UK’s largest regulatory body for practitioners of TCM acupuncture, they maintain high standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice to help ensure the health and safety of patients and practitioners.
Should I Tell My Doctor?
You should always tell me (your TCM practitioner) about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your diagnosis and treatment. I am trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and may refer you to your GP if I consider it appropriate. If you have been prescribed medication do not stop taking it unless we have discussed your circumstances and your GP has been informed and has agreed to any removal or reduction in medication.
*Patterns of disharmony: Also called pattern diagnosis and pattern discrimination are the diagnosis that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners give to the disharmonies that lead to disease; it is these patterns that are treated to return your body and mind to a proper and healthy balance. After your initial consultation and throughout your treatments I will discuss with you your particular pattern diagnoses, bear in mind that these patterns can change as your condition changes or if you contract new conditions, such as a common cold or stiff neck. There are dozens of pattern disharmonies and some more common examples are Spleen Qi Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, Dampness, Heat, Coldness, Liver Blood Deficiency, Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidney Yin Deficiency and Lung Qi Deficiency.