What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a healing system based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used for thousands of years and is very safe when practised by a properly qualified acupuncturist. Sterile, disposable needles are used, and the treatment is almost painless. The needles are MUCH finer than the needles used for injections or blood tests- they are about as thin as a horse hair, and are shaped to minimise pain. The insertion of these fine acupuncture needles into the correct acupuncture points can unblock and redirect the body’s own energy to where it is needed.
There are twelve meridians (or energy channels) that run through the body, and around 365 main acupuncture points along these channels. Pain and illness occur when there is a blockage of energy in the body somewhere. This may be due to emotional reasons, or other external factors such as illness, injury or lifestyle factors, or weakness in certain areas due to an inherited tendency or ageing. This may cause a variety of problems such as headaches, digestive problems and insomnia to name but a few.
What is it for?
Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that has been used for thousands of years for a vast range of conditions. Please contacts us to see whether acupuncture may be appropriate for you. For more research information there are some fact sheets on the British Acupuncture Council’s website – see here.
What to expect
When you come for treatment, your practitioner will ask you lots of questions, some of which may seem irrelevant to your condition. These all help us to get an idea of what is going on with your body, and to get to the root cause of your ailments. We’ll also ask about any medication you are on, and some questions about your lifestyle. We may also ask to feel your pulses and have a look at your tongue- these also may help us to get a clearer diagnosis. We’ll then help you to get comfortable on the treatment table, and start the treatment. Most people don’t feel the needles going into the skin, or they might feel a slight prick, and then people may feel nothing, or may feel a “Qi” sensation which is often like a dull ache, or a tingling or warm pressure sensation. Your acupuncturist will always check if you are comfortable though, and can stop the treatment at any time. Usually we will leave the needles in for 20 – 30 minutes, where most people feel very relaxed, and often drift off to sleep…
Acupuncture has been widely accepted as a beneficial treatment and is becoming readily available on the NHS. There is lots of research going on trying to explain how acupuncture works, and perhaps one day it will be clearly explained by western science.