What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is part of an ancient and sophisticated form of medical treatment which originated in China, but has increasingly spread throughout the world.

It involves the insertion of extremely fine, hair-like, pre-sterilized, stainless steel needles at pre-determined points on the body surface (known as acupuncture points) to restore internal health.

In the hands of a fully qualified professional practitioner the use of acupuncture is entirely safe and free of any harmful side-effects.  It has stood the test of time over several thousands of years and has not been found wanting.

Acupuncture can be used alone or combined with other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment such as herbal medicine or Chinese massage called tui na.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture if performed properly can bring the body into balance and assist the healing process through the regulation of qi - energy, blood and fluid in the body.
Acupuncture removes blockages; stimulates the immune system; harmonises emotion; improves blood flow; reduces pain and inflammation and stimulates healing in the body's tissues.

Does acupuncture work - how many treatments will I need and how often?

This depends on each individual case. Responses to treatment do vary from person to person and will depend on the nature of the condition being treated. Many people with acute conditions experience a real improvement in symptoms very quickly.  For people with longer term and more complex cases change can be more subtle and usually require more treatment over a longer period of time.  Initially most patients attend for acupuncture on a weekly basis.  As symptoms improve so the interval between treatments is extended.  Most people notice some improvement after 2-4 treatments.  Progress and frequency of appointments is regularly reviewed at each treatment.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and very different to the needles used when, for example, having blood taken.  When an acupuncture needle is inserted some people can feel a tiny pin prick.  The sensation patients do feel when the acupuncture point is reached is usually described as a dull ache or tingling sensation followed by a feeling of relaxation.

Is acupuncture safe?

Licensed acupuncturists are required to work within clear standards relating to hygiene and safety thus providing protection against the transmission of infectious diseases.  The acupuncture needles used in treatment are pre-sterilised, single use and disposable.

Are there any side effects?

After treatment some patients can feel a bit sleepy or light headed but some patients report that they feel more relaxed and have more energy.  Very occasionally a bruise can appear at the site where the acupuncture needle was inserted but this will disappear after a few days.

Should I tell my doctor I'm having acupuncture?

If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it can be helpful to let them know about any acupuncture treatment you plan to have.  Acupuncture is increasingly recognised as being an effective complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatment and an excellent treatment option for a whole range of conditions.  

Is there anything I should tell the acupuncturist?

Before treatment begins the acupuncturist takes a detailed Medical History to access your suitability for acupuncture.  You should provide details of any medication you are taking and also advise if you have a pacemaker or other electrical implant.

If you have any other questions about acupuncture Ros will be very happy to answer them.  Please visit the contact page.

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