Why have acupuncture?
Acupuncture aims to treat not only symptoms but more importantly the causes. For example, in this way it will look at the cause of a headache rather than just providing pain relief in order to cure the problem and suppress the symptoms. Acupuncture can treat conditions which are not easily explained in western medicine. Approaching a condition from this different Eastern perspective can often find other solutions to the problem that western medicine cannot. Acupuncture can also provide treatment without the side effects that many drugs can induce.
How does acupuncture work?
The philosophy behind the treatment is that energy lines or meridians circulate around the body. These meridians contain our energy flow or “qi”. It is when this qi is impaired through the body that imbalance and illness occurs. With the insertion of fine needles at various points on the meridian, the energy can be moved or redirected to where it is needed most. In this way the body’s balance can be restored and the illness resolved.
The flow of energy can be disrupted in many ways; emotional upset, physical trauma, poor diet or overwork are all common examples. By examining this underlying cause and how it has affected the body, the most appropriate treatment for the patient can be selected. Treating the patient as an individual is at the core of the acupuncture treatment and its this that helps allow the body to rebalance itself.
Does acupuncture work?
Quite simply yes! As the main form of treatment in the East for thousands of years, it could not have continued for so long if it did not work.
There is much evidence that demonstrates that effectiveness of acupuncture in treating certain conditions, eg back pain, asthma, sinusitis (the list goes on). The World Health Organisation now states that acupuncture is effective for a variety of conditions.
The way that acupuncture treats the person rather than just the symptom is key in it’s effectiveness.
Does Acupucture hurt?
No, not usually. Acupuncture needles are hair thin and are designed specifically to slide skilfully past tissues rather than puncture them. The sensation felt is often described as a tingling or dull ache around the area. Patients often report feeling relaxed or invigorated during and after treatment. Acupuncture should not be a painful or unpleasant experience.
How long will it take?
The first treatment will normally be for up to two hours as a full history is taken. This includes all aspects of your health and family history. There will also be an examination of the tongue and pulse, which give indications of how the energy is flowing internally.
Subsequent sessions will be shorter, approximately 40 minutes to an hour.
Will I need to get undressed?
The majority of common acupuncture points are below the elbow or below the knee. Therefore loose clothing is advisable and most treatments do not require the removal of clothing. However it may often be necessary to get to an affected area eg. in the case of back pain.
How many sessions will I need?
As each person and their condition is unique, the length of treatment differs. Change is usually felt after four treatments which are normally weekly at first. Sometimes treatment is dramatic and only one or two treatments are required while for other patients, results are more subtle and may take several months.
Is it safe?
All British Acupuncture Council Members observe a strict code of practice which governs their standard of care and level of conduct. They must have been trained for at least three years in Traditional Acupuncture and western medicine. All needles used are sterile and disposable. Patients receiving acupuncture are still eligible to donate blood.
How does cosmetic acupuncture differ to regular acupuncture?
A regular acupuncture session treats your whole health picture by addressing the immediate symptoms and the underlying energetic imbalance. A cosmetic acupuncture session incorporates both a regular acupuncture treatment and includes additional facial acupuncture to deliver cosmetic benefits. Therefore cosmetic acupuncture treatment sessions usually take longer than regular acupuncture sessions.
Will my insurance pay for acupuncture?
Many insurance companies now cover acupuncture treatment by either self-referral or referral from your GP or specialist. If uncertain, please check with your insurer.