A Quick Guide to Acupuncture & How It Can Help

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All you need to know about acupuncture

1. What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the therapies that forms part of traditional Chinese medicine and is one of the oldest existing treatment methods in the world. Because of its proven effectiveness, it has begun to attract a lot of attention in the west over the last 50 years or so. This ancient art of healing ­ – which dates back at least two millennia – basically involves the insertion of fine needles into certain sites in the body to various depths for therapeutic purposes.

2. How does acupuncture work?

The most important notion in acupuncture is Qi (or Ch’i), a vital energy whose flow must be balanced to keep us well and healthy. The most common translation of Qi in the western world is simply energy, but a more accurate interpretation would perhaps be ‘material energy’, ‘life force’ or even ‘energy flow’. Qi is related to the tension between nature’s binary opposites of yin and yang. When Qi is out of balance or doesn't flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. Inserting needles into acupuncture points brings the Qi flow back into a healthy balance.

3. What conditions can acupuncture help?

The answer is almost everything! Acupuncture can help with headaches and migraines and reduce pain, including back, neck, knee or arthritic pain. Treatments can also improve fertility in both men and women. Other conditions treated by acupuncture range from tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica through asthma, hay fever and bronchitis to IBS, polycystic ovaries, blocked fallopian tubes and endometriosis. Acupuncture can also help skin conditions such as eczema or ageing skin. And finally, it can improve general wellbeing and relieve anxiety and stress.

4. What should I expect during an acupuncture treatment?

An initial acupuncture session usually lasts 90 minutes. It begins with an assessment of your general health, including tongue and pulse readings, as well as a discussion of your wellbeing. After a diagnosis has been made and a plan of treatment drawn up, a number of needles are inserted. Most people find that after a treatment they feel extremely relaxed, and some feel a little tired or sleepy. The number of sessions you might need varies for different conditions, with chronic problems generally requiring more sessions than acute problems.

5. Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very fine and smooth – some are even finer than human hair. At the beginning of the treatment you may feel a little pinch, but many people feel nothing. After the needle has been inserted, some people experience a slight tingling or heavy feeling in the skin – these are positive responses. If you really don’t like the idea of needles, there are other ways we can help such as placing ‘cups’ along acupuncture points, moxa (involving heat) or acupressure (a form of massage).

NOW is a great time to try acupuncture. We are offering the first 15 clients who book using the code AUTUMN a free consultation. You’ll also enjoy 15% off your first acupuncture treatment.


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