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Acupuncture

I have trained in acupuncture and can help with painful musculoskeletal conditions such as knee pain, back pain and neck pain. acupuncture does not provide a cure but in many cases, it does provide effective pain relief which reduces the need for painkillers etc.

This service is not currently available but may be available in the future, if there are enough clients and the right treatment facilities.  The website will be updated accordingly.

Patient/client information about acupuncture:

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a method of treatment, originally developed in China that involves inserting special needles in specific spots (acupuncture points) on the patient’s body for a short period.

What acupuncture schools are there?
There are many schools of acupuncture in China, Japan and elsewhere.  In the west two distinct branches have emerged.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture
This system of acupuncture has evolved from an ancient Chinese system of medicine over 2000 years old and is allied to other forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine such as Traditional Chinese Herbalism.  Further information can be obtained from organisations such as the British Acupuncture Society and the London School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Modern Western Acupuncture
This system is less than 50 years old.  It evolved from study and research into acupuncture by (mostly) western doctors and scientists who found it hard to understand and accept the complicated system of ideas within the Chinese system and sought to explain and understand acupuncture in terms of modern anatomy and physiology.  A method gradually evolved which western doctors could learn and use as an adjunct to their other skills.  This system does not use concepts from the original Chinese system and has developed a methodology of its own.  Most doctors practising acupuncture in the UK have been trained according to this method and pain clinics in hospitals often try acupuncture.

How does it work?
We cannot yet answer this in any detail.  In many cases the acupuncturist makes use of ‘trigger points’.  These are areas within the muscle that hurt when pressed.  Needling the trigger point can relieve pain even in distant areas, though we do not know exactly how this happens.

What common problems can be helped with acupuncture?
A lot depends on the reaction of the individual patient.
  Some patients are better subjects than others, and some don’t respond at all.   In general acupuncture is good for pain, specially pain in muscles and joints.  It can also help headaches, migraines and painful periods.

Does it hurt?
Acupuncture is not pain free.  However it is no more painful than an ordinary injection or a blood test and in many cases it is a lot less painful than these.  Some people feel no pain at all and oddly enough some people find that acupuncture makes them feel relaxed and happy.  If this happens to you it probably means that you are a good acupuncture subject and are likely to benefit.  If it doesn’t happen to you, this is not a sign that acupuncture will not help.

Can it cause any harm?
Acupuncture carries the same risks as any other medical procedure involving needles. To put this in perspective the risk of harm occurring as a result of acupuncture is probably less than the risk of taking a painkiller or an anti-inflammatory drug for a painful condition.

Are there any possible adverse effects I should look out for?
Sometimes a small bruise appears where the needle was inserted.  This isn’t serious; it just means that a tiny vein was broken by the needle.  There is no need to do anything about it; it will go away by itself.  Some people find that their pain becomes temporarily worse for a short time.  This is called an ‘aggravation’.  In general ‘aggravation’ is followed by an improvement, so it is quite a good sign.

Can acupuncture transmit AIDS or Hepatitis?
No, because all needles are disposed after use.  There is therefore no possibility that infection could be transmitted.  For the same reason acupuncture will not affect your ability to donate blood.

How soon will I notice an improvement?
Some people notice partial or complete relief as soon as the needle is put in but this is exceptional.  Others find that improvement takes longer to appear – up to several days.

As mentioned above some patients feel more pain for a day or two after treatment.  This is generally a good sign.

Will acupuncture cure me completely?
No such claim can be made.  Many painful conditions resolve themselves and the body does have an ability to a degree to heal itself.  In cases where people are convinced that acupuncture has ‘cured’ them, it may be that acupuncture has accelerated the body’s own self-healing abilities.

How many treatments will I need?
I offer a maximum of six treatments as a general rule.  However if there is not much improvement after two treatments, further treatments will not be suggested.