Understanding Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese Medicine that has been used for thousands of years. Often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses.
Chinese Medicine perceives the body as a system that is kept in a dynamic state of balance by the flow of Qi (or electro magnetic energy) through the body. These channels of Qi travel beneath the skin and pass through different organs and muscle groups. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a wide range of things, such as infection, trauma, emotional difficulties, poor diet and life style.
The main aim of acupuncture is not only to treat a specific symptom, but also help rebalance the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of an individual.
What can Acupuncture treat?
Research and practice over many years has shown acupuncture’s effectiveness in helping, amongst other problems: anxiety, arthritis, addiction, back pain, skin problems, depression, headaches, low energy, pain relief, pregnancy management, menstrual problems, hay fever, sinus problems, sciatica, infertility, asthma, IBS and insomnia.
For a more detailed account on acupuncture’s ability to treat the above and other symptoms not listed please follow this link.
Who has Acupuncture?
Everyone! Acupuncture is suitable for all ages. Children and babies are often very responsive to acupuncture as their Qi is more dynamic. Due to this response and their age techniques and approaches are different to treating adults. For more information re children and acupuncture please call or e mail.
What Happens during a Treatment?
On your first visit you will be asked:
- Your symptoms
- What treatment you have had to date
- Various questions about your different body systems eg digestion, sleep patterns etc
- Any other areas of your life that may be affecting your health
It is up to you how much you discuss with the acupuncturist. All information is confidential and helps create a treatment plan.
The acupuncturist will then look at your tongue and pulse. Then while you are lying down a few very thin needles are placed into acupuncture points. Needles are left in for around twenty minutes.
Treatment is then often weekly. The likely number of treatment needed varies. Some time the effects are dramatic, while with other patients the results may be more subtle and take several months
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are as fine as a piece of hair - 0.20mm. When a needle is inserted there is usually no or very little sensation. However as the needle connects to the Qi, there is usually a pulling or heaviness around the area. This usually lasts a moment or two then subsides. A few points are chosen and left in for approximately 20 minutes. This can create a sense of deep relaxation and calm.
Do you work alongside Doctors and Health Insurance Schemes?
GPs sometimes refer patients for Acupuncture, but unfortunately the NHS does not subsidize treatment. Many health insurers will pay for Acupuncture, but it depends on the cover you have.
Pregnancy, Fertility and Post-natal Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is excellent at treating infertility; naturally and along side IVF and other fertility treatment programmes. It can help regulate menstruation patterns and boost sperm counts. During pregnancy, treatment can reduce nausea, promote foetal growth, reduce aches and pains, alleviate high blood pressure, turn breech presentation and induce overdue babies. Acupressure is also beneficial for a husband or birth partner to learn for use during labour. For more detail and information Debra Betts, midwife and acupuncturist has a more indepth website: acupuncture.rhizome.net.nz
Can I still have Acupuncture if I am on Medication?
Acupuncture can work alongside your medication. Treatment can enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication, but you should always consult your doctor regarding any change in prescription. DO NOT stop taking medication without some form of professional guidance.
Can Acupuncture Help Maintain Good Health?
Yes. As we become older, we all have a constitutional vunerability which becomes more apparent and needs support. Over the last 30 years of research, from the result of over 500 randomised trials, we know that Acupuncture can produce the following effects:
- Stimulates bone growth and maintains bone strength.
- Stimulates production of cortisol (natural anti inflammatory)
- Stimulates production of endorphins ( and other pain modulators)
- Moderates the blood’s clotting actions
- Regulates blood pressure levels
- Regulates the sympathetic nervous system
- Regulates the production of serotonin ( sleep and pain modulator)
- Enhances pain response
- Reduces Allergic Response