Acupuncture is based on a history of healthcare which can be referenced back through over 2000 years of practice in China and the Far East. It was subsequently modernised in the mid 1900's under the People's Republic of China to work alongside Western Medicine. Acupuncture works on the basis of enabling and individual to meet their full potential on a body, mind and spirit basis.
It is based on the theory that symptoms of poor health, pain or illness are signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture is to restore the body's equilibrium by focussing on the individual's needs and not just their symptoms.
We are all unique and so no two treatments are ever the same.
In the UK, acupuncture is well respected as a treatment for many conditions and works well alongside conventional western health care.
In recent years, acupuncture has performed well in western medical trials and is now commonly recommended by doctors for a variety of conditions. A growing body of evidence-based clinical research shows that acupuncture can treat a wide range of health problems.
The NHS recognises that there is reasonable evidence that acupuncture can help the following conditions:
• chronic back pain
• dental pain
• pain and discomfort during gastrointestinal endoscopy
• nausea and vomiting after an operation
• pain and discomfort during oocyte retrieval (a procedure used during IVF)
• osteoarthritis of the knee
Clients base tends to seek out treatment for a far wider list of conditions and we are always happy to speak with a prospective client to discuss their individual needs, by phone or in person.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of 'qi', your body's vital energy. For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which may result in symptoms of pain and illness or disease. Traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.
During a consultation, we will use diagnostic methods to prepare an acupuncture treatment plan personal to you. The plan includes looking at your lifestyle and medical history, taking your pulses, looking at your tongue and your blood pressure.
The frequency and number of sessions will depend on your specific condition. Generally you should allow for 3 or 4 sessions in order see significant results, though most people do see a difference after one or two sessions. After the initial treatment programme, clients tend to put themselves in a management plan having sessions say every 8 to 12 weeks, in order to keep their health at a premium.
Pricing for our services differ depending on the length of treatment you require. Please get in touch with us and we can discuss this with you to ensure you get the appropriate treatment for you
How does it work?
Chinese medicine studied the effects of lifestyle on the body's energy patterns which we call 'Qi'. They recognised that factors such as overworking, worry, constitutional problems, poor diet, stress and climate affect how Qi flows in the body. When it becomes blocked, disturbed or depleted, it can result in imbalance which causes illness. Left untreated, this can slowly weave a complex series of interactions around the body. Based on your individual diagnosis, treatment aims to restore the balance of your Qi, using points to nourish or strengthen, smooth or disperse. During your treatment, your pulses will be monitored to assess if the treatment is having the desired effect.
How many sessions will I need?
Frequency of treatment and number of sessions depend on your individual condition. Sometimes people notice an immediate improvement while others, particularly those with longer term conditions, may need more time to notice a change. Often people put off having acupuncture, seeing it as a last resort, so it can take a bit longer to work. We usually advise trying to commit to about 6 treatments, starting weekly then fortnightly or once a month. If you are seeking treatment to help with any addictions or eating disorders, please enquire separately about this. We see treatment as a partnership, or 2-way process, rather than simply just 'practitioner doing' and 'patient receiving'. There are lots of ways pulses, tongue, symptoms, your appearance or voice - in which your body will communicate what you need. If we think there are external factors that will help you, such as diet or lifestyle issues, then we will work with you to try and incorporate any beneficial changes into your treatment plan.
What are needles like? Do they hurt?
Acupuncture needles are much finer than those used for injections or blood tests. They can be described as a bit like cat's whiskers. They're made of flexible, sterile, stainless steel. All our needles are single use and safely disposed of. When inserted, you might feel a tingling sensation or dull ache, which we associate with Qi, showing that the whole body and mind is responding. It doesn't generally hurt but occasionally some points can feel slightly tender, depending on what we are aiming to achieve. You are always in the 'driving seat' and we can remove any needles immediately if you ask
What happens in treatment?
Sessions last between 45 minutes and an hour. We ask you about your progress and other relevant issues, before re-taking your pulses and looking at your tongue. Treatment comprises the insertion of very fine needles into specific points. Some needles will be left in for around 20 minutes while you relax, while others will be quickly inserted and removed. We may suggest other forms of treatment, such as moxa, guasha or cupping if we consider these will be helpful.
What is a Full Traditional Diagnosis?
We would normally do a full traditional diagnosis with all patients, although if you have an acute or very painful condition, this may be treated initially before doing your FTD. Diagnosis takes about 1 ½ hours. It involves a detailed discussion about your health, physical systems, lifestyle and medical history. It will include examining your tongue, taking your pulses, and also do any necessary physical examination at this time. Medicines can affect the whole body, not just the symptom they are targeting, so please be prepared to provide us with information about any medications you are taking. This information will enable us to compile a full diagnostic picture which assesses the state of your Qi, the factors which have or which are affecting it and, from a Chinese medical perspective, the consequences relating to your organs, blood, any pathogens, fluid balance, Spirit and channels. This information is then used to develop your personal treatment plan.
Who chooses acupuncture?
Acupuncture is suitable for all ages and can be used alone or alongside conventional medicine. Many people come for help with specific conditions, such as joint pain, that they have heard acupuncture can help. Others just don't feel right or are constantly under the weather but neither they nor their doctor can quite put their finger on anything wrong. Some just want to enhance their feeling of wellbeing, while other patients want to try a treatment that is drug-free, or perhaps offers them a different perspective on a long-term condition. Others may just want to help maintain good health as a preventative measure, or simply enjoy the deep sense of relaxation derived from treatment. One of the aspects of acupuncture we like to emphasise is that acupuncture treats the person, not the condition. Chinese medicine would consider it nonsense to consider mental or emotional aspects of a person's health separately from any physical symptoms everything is seen as an important part of you! So while we will focus on treating your main complaint your priority is our priority we would not be surprised to find other niggles quietly changing and improving in the background.