Acupuncture is an established, safe and effective healthcare system based on principles and practice established over nearly two thousand years. Working on a positive model of health acupuncture looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture treatment is to restore the body’s natural equilibrium.
What makes this healthcare system so suited to modern life is that physical, emotional and mental states are seen as interdependent and reflect what many people perceive as the connection between the different aspects of their lives.
Traditional Acupuncture theory holds that a smooth stream of energy (known as Qi) flows through channels in the body maintaining good health. Illness or stress will disturb this flow leading to symptoms and loss of wellbeing. Acupuncture restores the flow of Qi by inserting fine needles into specific points along channels in the body.
A traditional acupuncturist as well as needling acupuncture points may use techniques such as gua sha and the application of ‘moxa’ or moxibustion.
The application of moxibustion is used to heat an acupuncture point or meridian to affect the flow of blood to the area being treated.
Gua sha is a technique in which the skin is rubbed to increase the flow of blood to clear and cleanse.
Before your first acupuncture treatment there are several things to bear in mind:
- Many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is helpful to wear clothing that allows for access to these areas.
- Try not to come for treatment on either an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal.
Your first visit will take longer than subsequent appointments to give time to a full description of your presenting condition, how you experience the symptoms and their severety as well as aspects of your overall health.
You will be asked about your medical history and any medication that you are taking or treatments you may have tried as well as a description of your lifestyle and diet before a diagnosis and treatment plan is made.
Of acupuncture treatment patients say that the sensation of a needle feels like a dull ache and not at all like the piercing of a needle we have perhaps been used to. Soon after treatment patients report feeling relaxed and calm, sometimes a little tired or sleepy (so take this into account if you are planning to drive or go back to work straight after treatment) with significant improvements to symptoms sometimes being immediate whil for others imprivement is seen overtime.
Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting such as dizziness or minor bruising and very occasionally a temporary aggravation of symptoms.
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