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What is Acupuncture?
Good health is not just the absence of pain or disease. Traditional acupuncture works to maintain the body’s equilibrium by focusing on all aspects of wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional.
Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of complementary medicine. The Chinese and other eastern cultures have been using acupuncture to restore, promote and maintain good health for thousands of years. Nowadays more and more people are finding this long established therapy can offer an effective solution to all manner of today’s ills.
Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world and in the UK there are currently over 3000 qualified acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council as at January 2010.
Who has acupuncture?
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions, and some because they simply feel generally unwell. Others choose acupuncture to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine.
What happens when I go for treatment?
You will be asked about your current symptoms, what treatment you have received, your medical history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. The acupuncturist is also likely to feel your pulses on both wrists and may ask to look at your tongue. The acupuncture points used are not always close to the part of the body where you experience the problem. For example, although you might suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand.
How many sessions will I need?
Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt after five treatments, although occasionally only one or two treatments are required. Some patients may need treatment over several months or long-term. Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week at first.
Should my doctor know?
If you have been prescribed medication it makes sense to tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture has a very sound track record. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and on occasion minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache.
What can acupuncture do for me?
Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition while others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventative 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.
Acupuncture is often used in the treatment of a variety of conditions and in conjunction with western medicine. Increasingly women are choosing to have acupuncture to support them throughout pregnancy, labour and after giving birth.
Further information can be found on the website of the British Acupuncture Council at www.acupuncture.org.uk.
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