Acupuncture is an ancient and holistic system of healing. It treats the whole person to improve general wellbeing as well as helping individual symptoms.
According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body’s energy (known as Qi) moving smoothly through a series of channels, or meridians, beneath the skin. Qi is made up of equal and opposite parts: Yin and Yang. When there is an imbalance of these two parts of our energy, we may experience illness.
Our trained and experienced acupuncturists insert fine needles into the skin at very specific points on the body. This is believed to encourage the body’s ability to heal itself and to restore its natural balance.
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of problems:
- Most types of chronic pain, including neck and back pain, pain from arthritis and from sports injuries
- Nerve pain including trigeminal neuralgia, trapped nerves and sciatica
- Chronic muscle strains and plantar fasciitis
- Migraines, chronic headaches and sinusitis
- Anxiety, stress and depression
- Bowel and digestive problems
- Tiredness and chronic fatigue syndrome
- Menstrual and menopausal symptoms and infertility
- Bladder problems and irritability
- Hay fever, allergies and rhinitis
- Nausea and vomiting following operations
- Addiction problems – auricular acupuncture (putting needles into the ear) is often used for addictions including alcohol, smoking and binge eating
- Acupuncture is also used during pregnancy for back pain, morning sickness and pain relief during childbirth.
Most people’s experience of needles is usually limited to injections and blood tests, so many feel uneasy about the concept of acupuncture.
Many patients ask if acupuncture will hurt them. In fact, acupuncture needles are much finer than conventional medical needles, so as they are inserted into the skin the feeling is more like a tingling or a dull ache rather than the sharp bee-sting sensation of an injection. Our acupuncture practitioners insert needles either for a second or two, or they may leave them in place for 30 minutes or more, depending on the effect needed. You may feel a heaviness in your arms and legs or you may just experience a pleasant relaxation during your treatment.
The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep, as well as an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing.
At your first appointment your acupuncturist will ask you about your symptoms and your medical history, plus any medication you take. A traditional acupuncturist will feel your pulse on both wrists and examine your tongue.
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing to allow your acupuncturist to access your acupuncture points – there are over 500 of these on the body and they may be located far away from the pain or other symptom. For example, although you may seek treatment for headaches, needles may be inserted into your foot or hand during your treatment.
Your practitioner will insert fine needles into your skin at specific places, called acupuncture points. The needles may be moved, manipulated or stimulated electrically and heat may be used by burning a herb called moxa. Acupuncture points may also be stimulated by massage.
The number of treatments you need will depend on your condition. However, you can usually expect to notice improvements within five or six sessions.
Please be reassured that at the Good Health Centre our trained therapists always use sterile, disposable needles.
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) represents professional acupuncturists who have an extensive training in acupuncture and the biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of this therapy.
BAcCmembers practise a recognised and traditional style of diagnosis and treatment therapy. This has been developed and refined over 2,000 years and provides patients with an holistic approach to maintaining health and managing illness.
There is no government legislation in the UK covering acupuncture at present. Unfortunately, this means that anyone can currently provide acupuncture treatment without any professional acupuncture training whatsoever.
Our acupuncturists here at the Good Health Centre are all members of BAcC.
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Research in the British Medical Journal has confirmed that when carried out by a competent practitioner, acupuncture is a very safe therapy. Serious side effects can occur after acupuncture, but the risk has been estimated as less than 1 in every 10,000 treatments.It is important to let your acupuncture therapist know before your treatment if you have any medical problems, including if you have:
- fits and faints
- a pacemaker fitted
- heart valve damage
- heart or lung disease
- clotting problems
- or if you are taking anticoagulants or any other medication including complementary remedies or aspirin.
At the Good Health Centre our trained therapists always use sterile, disposable needles.
It’s sensible not to plan anything strenuous after your acupuncture treatment because symptoms may sometimes worsen for a short time or you may feel tired and light headed. If you do feel unwell, don’t drive until the drowsiness or dizziness passes.
Occasionally you may feel pain or have a little bleeding or bruising after treatment.