Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed over 1000 years in China and other Eastern countries which is increasingly being recognised as effective by Western health professionals and patients. It is based upon detecting disharmonies within a person’s body and mind. These are determined by asking questions about presenting symptoms, life style, sleeping patterns, emotions, and feelings as well as examining the tongue, its colour, shape, and coating and taking a series of pulses on both wrists.
A traditional diagnosis is then made leading to a treatment plan which will primarily involve the use of fine needles inserted into carefully chosen points.
Acupuncture can and is used to treat a wide variety of conditions. In traditional acupuncture in which illness is seen to result in an imbalance of energy, treatment can benefit almost any ill person as long as a degenerative process is not too extensive. Typical conditions treated are: anxiety/depression, arthritis, asthma, pain, eczema, sports injuries, allergies and hayfever, migraine, menstrual disorders, gastrointestinal problems and pregnancy management and delivery. It is also used in a preventative manner to keep the body in tune.
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. These might include anxiety states, arthritis, asthma, back pain, circulatory problems, depression, facial paralysis, fibrositis, high blood pressure, indeterminate aches and pains, infertility menstrual problems, migraines, rheumatism, sciatica, skin conditions or ulcers.
Acupuncture is a safe treatment for all. It has proved to be effective in pregnancy management and for the relief of pain in childbirth. Acupuncture is also helpful for people trying to overcome addictions such as those related to smoking, alcohol, food or drugs.
Some people may have acupuncture as a preventive measure to strengthen their constitution, or because they feel unwell in themselves without being ill in the Western sense. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine in the treatment of both acute and chronic disease. As with any therapy, the response to acupuncture can vary from one person to another.
What does it feel like? Most people’s experience of needles is of those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles hear little resemblance to these. They are much finer and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache.
Needles are inserted either for a second or two, or left in place for up to 20 minutes, depending on the effect required. During treatment, patients commonly experience heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
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.