Ask Kate about Acupuncture
Acupuncture with a trained and fully qualified practitioner is one of the safest and longest established forms of healthcare. It is suitable for people of all ages, including pregnant women and children, and can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.
Frequently asked questions about Acupuncture
The principal aim of acupuncture in treating the whole person is to recover the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.
Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practiced in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. Although often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses. Its focus is on improving the overall wellbeing of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.
According the traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy – known as Qi – moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin. These channels are known as meridians. In recent years medical scientists have discovered myofascial pathways that follow the meridians recorded by the early acupuncturists, and the concept of Qi itself may overlap with developing knowledge of how cells in the body communicate. Qi consists of equal and opposite qualities – Yin and Yang – and when these become unbalanced, illness may result. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a number of factors. These include emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma.
Acupuncture is considered to be beneficial for a wide range of conditions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends acupuncture for migraines and headaches. It has also been recommended for chronic pain, including low back pain and knee pain. Because an acupuncture treatment is designed to affect your whole body, not just your symptoms you may notice other niggling problems resolve during a course of treatment. I am always happy to discuss how acupuncture may help you in a free consultation over the phone.
Many people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Some pregnant women have acupuncture throughout their pregnancy. Other people choose acupuncture when they feel out of balance but have no obvious diagnosis. Many people, once they have received a course of treatment, continue to use acupuncture as a preventative measure to strengthen their constitution and because they find it beneficial and relaxing. 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. And many have regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.
Acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as I adjust the needle to direct Qi. Most people find the treatment deeply relaxing.
There have been research studies conducted in 2011/12 and the conclusion was that when practiced by a properly trained and qualified traditional acupuncturist, the risk of adverse events from acupuncture is extremely low. Sometimes a small bruise can appear at the needle site and occasionally people can feel a little light-headed after treatment but this passes quickly.
If you are receiving treatment from the doctor then it makes sense to tell him or her about your plans to have acupuncture. You should always tell me about any medication you are taking.