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What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a system of healing that began in China and other
Eastern countries over 2000 years ago. It is based on the principle
that good health comes from a smooth and balanced flow of energy or
Qi (pronounced chee) throughout the body. Acupuncturists use needles

to tap into and influence this flow of energy, by stimulating the body’s
own healing response and helping to restore its natural balance.


What does it feel like?

Acupuncture needles are much finer than ones used for giving injections or taking blood. As such, you may feel very little when they are inserted. There is often a sensation, however, when the needle meets the Qi. This can be a tingling, ache or pulling sensation; everyone experiences it differently. There are acupuncture points all over the body, and the needles may not be inserted in the area where you are experiencing the problem. Needles can be left in for up to 30 minutes, or inserted for only a few seconds, depending on the effect required. After the treatment you may feel relaxed, or tired, or have a feeling of well-being. In the short-term, your symptoms may be aggravated. You may not feel any different at all. It is advisable, however, not to overdo it in the 24 hours following treatment, as well as to avoid alcohol or hot baths.


Who can benefit?

Training involves the study of Five Element constitutional acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Enabling the Practitioner to treat patients with a wide variety of conditions, both chronic and acute. Acupuncture treats the whole and, therefore, treats at a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Conditions acupuncture may help include menstrual problems and PMT, musculo-skeletal problems, digestive symptoms, stress, anxiety and depression, headaches and migraines, high blood pressure and circulatory problems, or just general tiredness and a feeling of not being well.


What does an acupuncture session involve?

The initial session can last up to 1hr 45 mins and includes a consultation. This not only covers why you have come for acupuncture, but will also involve finding out about you and questioning your health history and lifestyle. It will also involve a physical examination, including looking at your tongue and taking your pulse. The aim of this is to look at your health as a whole and form a picture of how acupuncture can help you. The first session will also include your first treatment. Subsequent treatments last up to an hour.


How many treatments are needed?

It is difficult to know how many treatments are needed, as different people respond in different ways. Longstanding conditions tend to take longer to respond than new ones. It is generally advisable to have weekly treatments initially to build up a momentum. Frequency is then reduced as you improve. It is useful after 4 or 5 sessions, however, to review progress and discuss whether it is worth continuing with treatment.


Self help

Acupuncture assists the body in healing itself. It may be that you can make changes to help the body to do this. Part of the Practitioners role will be to discuss possible lifestyle changes with you.