WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture treatment involves fine needles being inserted through the skin and briefly left in position. the number of needles varies but may be only two or three. The practitioner will assess each patient’s case and treatment will be tailored to the individual; so it is impossible to give more than this general idea of what your particular treatment might involve. Treatment might be once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition responds. A typical course of treatment lasts 5 to 8 sessions.
Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the body's release of natural painkillers - endorphin and serotonin - in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received.
Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago and is part of an integrated system of healthcare known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). When illness or pain occurs TCM theory states that it is because the vital energy or Qi of the body has become blocked or is depleted. Acupuncture works by inserting very fine needles at specifically selected acupuncture points along energy channels or meridians to restore the energy balance of the body.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING TREATMENT
The practitioner will take an initial in depth history from the client. Tongue and pulse diagnosis will also be part of the overall assessment. Fine, sterile disposable needles are gently inserted into various points around the body and are generally left in place for 20-30 minutes. Clients report various sensations after initial insertion including dull aches or tingling sensations which means the treatment is taking effect. Most people also experience a feeling of deep relaxation and well-being. Acupuncture may also be used in conjunction with other aspects of TCM such as moxibustion, cupping, heat therapy and dietary advice
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT TAKE?
The initial consultation may take up to an hour as a detailed history will be taken. Subsequent treatments normally take between 45 minutes and an hour depending on the condition treated. The number of treatment sessions required will vary according to the condition. Most acute conditions respond quickly to treatment whereas more chronic illnesses will usually require more longer term treatment (6-10 treatments over a period of weeks). The TCM practitioner will review your progress at each treatment.
IS IT SAFE?
Acupuncture is a completely safe procedure. Sterile, single use, disposable needles are used in all treatments and are disposed of immediately after use. It is suitable for everyone including during pregnancy. Acupressure points for pain relief can also be taught to the birthing partner to help ease labour pains.