What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed over 2000 years in China and other Eastern countries which has become popular in the UK over recent years, and is increasingly being recognised as ‘effective’ by Western health professionals and patients. Acupuncture aims to restore the natural balance of the body, seeking to treat the root cause of the diseases rather than just to relieve the symptoms. It involves the insertion of ultra- fine sterile needles at chosen points along the channels of energy. The aim is to stimulate the body’s own healing response to restore natural balance. The treatment is aimed at the root cause as well as your symptoms.
What will happen during the treatment?
Your first consultation may be longer than subsequent sessions. The acupuncturist needs to assess your general state of health, in order to identify the underlying pattern of disharmony and give you the most effective treatment. The acupuncturist is also likely to feel your pulses on both wrists, and may ask to take a look at your tongue. The acupuncture points used are not always close to the part of the body where you experience the problem. For example, although you may be suffering from headaches, needles may be inserted in you hands or feet. Some other therapies of Traditional Chinese Medicine may also be applied when appropriate, such as moxabustion, cupping therapy or electro-acupuncture.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture has a sound track record. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and on occasions minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short lived.
How does it feel?
Some people would like to try acupuncture, but don’t because they assume it will be painful. In fact, as the needles used are much finer than those used for injections, only a slight sensation is felt as the needle goes in. When the needles reaches the desired point, usually 4 or 5 mm below the surface of the skin, there is another sensation often described ans a tingling, pulling or dull ache sensation, which is rarely described as painful and lasts for only 1 or 2 seconds. Sterile disposable needles are used on all patients. After a treatment, some patients experience immediate improvement, whereas other patients can take longer to notice changes in their symptoms. Most people report feeling very relaxed and calm after a treatment.