Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

 Acupuncture is key component in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), having been created and utilised in China for centuries it has been adapted and transformed throughout the years, making it still relevant within our healthcare system today. Acupuncture involves the insertion and gentle manipulation of very fine needles at selected points on the body to help stimulate various physiological responses. It is utilised to assist in the support and management of a wide range of health-related conditions.

How does it work?

Traditional Chinese Medicine has a unique diagnostic system, which is based around regulating and maintaining the body’s vital force known as “qi” (chi). Acupuncture is believed to have a healing effect on the body due to its ability to regulate qi, which flows through pathways in the body, known as meridians. Qi is thought to control the body’s systems, internal organs and functions and imbalances in the flow or supply of qi result in illness and disease. By putting needles in specific points along the meridian, acupuncture can help to regulate qi flow and production, which returns balance and harmony back to the body from its imbalanced state.

For those new to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are many theories to explain just how it all works, with the most common view being that acupuncture has the capacity to regulate the nervous system via the neuro/hormonal pathways. The belief being that by needling a specific point, a nerve is activated in the brain, which signals the brain to release neural hormones and transmitters which can illicit a myriad of responses. Different points along the meridian create different responses, which can assist with pain, inflammation, blood flow, stress, anxiety and so on.

What can I expect from a consultation/treatment?

The initial one hour consultation begins with a discussion of symptoms and taking a case history, you can expect to be asked detailed questions regarding your symptom pattern, diet, lifestyle, family history, how your digestive system is functioning and so on. This information is necessary to make a complete and accurate TCM diagnosis of your condition and to formulate an effective treatment protocol.

While taking this information, TCM specific investigative diagnostic techniques such as pulse taking and tongue will be also be conducted, this gives extra depth to your diagnosis.

Once the consultative/ investigatory process are completed the needles are inserted. Needles are usually retained by the patient for at least 20 minutes, depending on the condition, some patients though may have them in for longer. 

How should I expect to feel once the needles are in?

Responses vary from patient to patient, some report feeling warmth, heaviness or tingling at the site of insertion, others feel nothing. Overall most patients report a sense of calm and relaxation which permeates through the body.

Generally, responses to acupuncture are varied and patient specific. In fact the actual sensation of being needled is different for everyone. Some feel an instant sense of warmth, heaviness or tingling at the site of insertion, others feel nothing. Many experience a sense of calm and relaxation which permeates through the body whilst others only feel the localised effects of the needles. 

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