What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture works to help maintain your body’s equilibrium. It 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 can result in some symptoms of pain or illness. In certain instances, traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.
Treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feeling of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves.
Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine.
Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world. In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them.
What can it do for me?
Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or simply to improve their general sense of wellbeing.
Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of conditions.
Frequency of Treatments
An acupuncturist treats the person, not just the condition which they have, so each patient’s treatment plan will be different. However, you can always ask us about other patients’ experiences, to give you an idea of what to expect. Many people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing
What does acupuncture feel like?
The needles used are very fine and are all single use and sterile. To find the acupuncture point, the practitioner palpates along the meridian to locate a little dip. When the needle is inserted, a sensation like a dull ache or pressure may be felt. Needles can be inserted and removed immediately or left for 10-15 minutes. We take the pulses at the wrists to feel changes as a result of needling.
If you can:
- Rest for 20 minutes after each treatment.
- Drink plenty of water as this will help to clear toxins from your system.
- Keep to a simple diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid tea and coffee.
- Don’t drink alcohol on the day of treatment.
How will you feel after treatment?
There is a whole range of sensations that you can experience after treatment. The important thing to remember is that change is a sign that your body is beginning to adapt to the rebalancing it has received. Please note any changes that you experience following the treatment and let your practitioner know – feedback is important for treatment planning.
- Feeling better: relief from blockages can make you feel more refreshed and energetic.
- Feeling worse before feeling better: While your body is adjusting you may feel seemingly worse initially. These effects will disappear once your body settles down.
- Tiredness: You may feel tired after treatment and may sleep well, following the relaxation of tension in the body.
- Headaches: The release of waste products (toxins) as your body heals can cause headaches. Drinking plenty of water will help to flush these toxins out.
How many sessions will you need?
The number of sessions needed varies considerably, depending on:
- Your age: you generally heal more slowly as you get older.
- How long you have had the problem: yesterday’s illness will resolve faster than one of 20 year’s standing.
- General level of fitness: broadly speaking, the fitter you are the quicker your body mends.
- Stress levels: high levels of stress can impede healing.
- Nutrition and lifestyle: good healthy food and plenty of rest help the healing process.
Most patients need between four and six sessions once a week then treatments are gradually more widely spaced out – by which time a noticeable change should have occurred, though treatment can continue for longer. Once the problem has been resolved, regular maintenance treatments are recommended to keep your energy levels maintained and balanced.