Acupuncture originated in China and other far Eastern Asian countries, where it still features mainstream healthcare as a stand-alone therapy or is used alongside conventional Western medicine. Currently, acupuncture is widely practised worldwide in public and private healthcare settings. In the UK, acupuncture is increasingly gaining popularity. Acupuncture is an evidence-based therapy; numerous studies prove acupuncture's efficacy (Read about acupuncture research).
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture works to help maintain your body’s equilibrium by regulating your Qi with specific needles. Very fine needles (thinner than hair!) are inserted at specific acupuncture points on your body to balance the flow of ‘Qi’, your body’s vital energy. For many lifestyles and environmental reasons, your Qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, resulting in some symptoms of pain, discomfort or illnesses. Acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help you restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony and healing.
What can acupuncture do for you?
Acupuncture is a holistic treatment that aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation. So, for example, you come to acupuncture for back pain but may notice other niggling problems also ease or disappear as your treatments progress.
Acupuncture is effective preventative medicine. They can address the issues where conventional medicine has limitations; therefore, it complements conventional medicine. When practised by a highly qualified practitioner, acupuncture is a safe medicine – with few, if any, side effects.
Who has acupuncture?
You may choose acupuncture treatment for a variety of reasons.
1) You want to get help with specific symptoms or relieve pain like knee osteoarthritis.
2) You want to maintain good health, take preventive measures, or improve your well-being.
3) You may not generally feel unwell but do not have an obvious diagnosis from your doctor.
4) You are receiving conventional medical treatment; Acupuncture can support you along with that treatment, strengthens you and also ease the discomfort you are experiencing as a result of that treatment (e.g. IVF, cancer care)
5) Acupuncture is suitable for all ages, including babies and children.
I use a unique treatment approach integrating Five Element and TCM acupuncture (Read more about Five Element and TCM acupuncture). With the integrated systems of acupuncture, I aim to treat the root cause of your ailments and symptoms, support you through life challenges and promote emotional and mental well-being.
If you are my first-time patient, your pre-session consultation will take place via video-conferencing online – rather than face to face. And consultation and consent forms will be emailed to you for completion before the visit.
I will ask about your main complaint, general health, medical history, and medications to complete a Chinese Medicine diagnosis. During treatment, I will check your pulse and tongue, do physical examinations such as palpation on specific muscles, joints, channels, and observe your movement if necessary. Based on the diagnosis, I will proceed to treatment that involves needling, moxa, cupping or Guasha.
Additional Manual Therapies with Acupuncture
Along with acupuncture, I may include the following therapies in your treatment.
Moxa is a therapy that involves heat application with a medicinal herb(mugwort). I often use it to treat Cold and Deficient Symptoms to warm and strengthen the affected area by burning moxa corns directly on your skin, where particular meridians or acupuncture points are. I also use a moxa stick or box to warm a larger area of your body, such as the back and abdomen.
Guasah is a scraping therapy that removes stasis and pain and strengthens the area by scraping the skin surface with the edge of the Guasha tool (e.g. metal lid) until it causes light bruising or petechiae. It helps promote healthy circulation of Qi and encourages blood flow, thus benefiting areas where there are muscle tension, knots, and pain from stagnation and deficiency. For example, tension shoulders, neck and back.
Cupping is an effective remedy used to remove toxins, stagnation and pathogens through the skin surface by applying a local suction with heated or vacuum cups. By doing so, it can treat many ailments, including muscle pain, knots, and fever. Bruising and skin discolouration result from this treatment; they should be cleared within a few days.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
There is an impressive body of research that demonstrates that acupuncture helps with a wide range of conditions. The highly esteemed British Medical Journal recently published a glowing report into acupuncture and no less than Harvard Medical School advocates for this system of medicine!
Evidence supports the use of acupuncture for:
Cancer related pain and the side effects of conventional cancer treatment
Musculoskeletal pain and migraine
Depression and other mental health disorders
Fertility related issues and menopausal symptoms
Childhood ailments and developmental issues
Information provided by Association of Acupuncture Clinicians(AAC), https://aac-org.uk
Acupuncture Research & Information
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) produced the updated research information in the A-Z factsheets, which acupuncture has proven effective. Their research includes anxiety, back pain, chronic fatigue, and infertility (IVF).
Click here to see the full list of factsheets and research digest.
If you want to read more information and research about the efficacy of acupuncture, you can find them by visiting the website below.