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 stimulate the body’s own healing response to restore natural balance, and involves the insertion of ultra- fine sterile needles at chosen points along the channels of energy. Evidence has shown that Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin, muscle and other tissues and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the release of the body’s natural painkillers, including endorphin and serotonin, which modifies the way the pain signals are received by the brain. The calming effect that Acupuncture has on the nervous system means that it is also a very effective treatment for stress and anxiety.
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 cupping therapy.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is a safe natural treatment. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. There are very few side effects from Acupuncture when practised by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional Acupuncture. Any minor side affects that can occur such as mild dizziness or bruising around needle points, are mild and rarely occur.
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 so ultra-fine that only a slight sensation is felt as the needle goes in. Sterile disposable needles are used on all patients. After a treatment, some patients experience immediate improvement, whereas other patients can take longer to notice improvements in their symptoms. Most people report feeling very relaxed and calm during and after each treatment.