Acupuncture

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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China over 3,000 years ago. In the last 30 years modern acupuncture has developed with the application of electrical instruments to measure accurately the location of the acupuncture points (these points have a reduced electrical resistance compared with the surrounding skin area). Acupuncture works by ‘tonifying’ or ‘sedating’ the meridians, i.e. pathways of energy in the body.

In healthy individuals these meridians possess a certain rhythm of circulating energy; in disease, scar tissue, other outside forces or emotions these rhythms of energy become disrupted. Acupuncture helps to restore these pathways of energy, reducing pain and inflammation, relieving stress, promoting healing and restoring function.

Advantages of Acupuncture

It is a safe form of treatment with none of the unpleasant and sometimes long-term side effects of medication, it can of course complement conventional medication, often enhancing the effects of it. Acupuncture treatments may enable you to reduce or stop some medication, but only after consultation with your doctor; this can help to reduce NHS costs.

Other seemingly non-relation symptoms are often improved, i.e. other than those being specifically treated. Frequently a general sense of well being is experienced by the patient. The treatments involves no pain.

The results give long lasting relief as the treatment is aimed at the basic imbalance that causes the problem, rather than at purely the symptoms experienced.

What can Acupuncture Treat?

  • Musculo-skeletal problems
  • Headaches, including migraine
  • Fertility: Male and female including enhancement of I.V.F treatment
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome and menstrual disorders including endometriosis and polycistic ovary syndrome. Problems during pregnancy including morning sickness and malposition of foetus
  • Sinusitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Allergies, including Hay Fever
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Skin conditions, including Eczema and Psoriasis
  • Tension, stress and anxiety related problems
  • Trigeminal neuralgia, tempero-mandibular pain (i.e. facial pain)
  • Post-shingles pain
  • Post viral Syndrome (M.E.)
  • Smoking (withdrawal from)

These conditions are to name just a few, acupuncture actually encompasses treatments for a very wide range of conditions.

The Treatment

Acupuncture needles are so fine that there is no discomfort when they are inserted but a slight tingle (known as needle sensation) may be experienced. The needles are usually left in for approximately twenty minutes; during this time there may be a heaviness of the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation. Disposable needles are used at Millway Centre for Health.

Diagnosis

During the first consultation, the practitioner aims to determine the general level of health of the patient from both Western and Traditional Chinese medical aspects. This involves careful questioning and observation. A detailed understanding is required of the patient’s symptoms, past medical and family history, lifestyle and diet. The behaviour of all the systems in the body are discussed for example digestion and circulation, sleep patterns and stress levels.

Diagnosis may also include examination of the tongue for its structure, colour and coating and of the pulses at the wrists, which are felt for their character, rhythm and strength. What the practitioner is looking for is not symptoms in isolation, but rather a pattern into which is woven a holistic picture of the patient.

Number of Treatments

This varies, as a general rule acute conditions will show improvement by the third treatment but may improve earlier. A long term or chronic condition may take longer than this. If treatment is sought in the earlier stages of a condition a quicker result should be effected.

Occasionally a patient experiences a mild flare up of the condition after the initial treatment – this is usually a good sign that the condition will respond effectively to treatment.

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