What is Acupuncture? – It is an ancient system of healing. The earliest acupuncture books were written 4,500 years ago and today, worldwide, there are more than three million practitioners.
We are commonly asked what is acupuncture and how does it work. Acupuncture began with the discovery that the stimulation of specific areas of skin affected the functioning of certain organs of the body. It evolved into a system of healing as the connection between the skin and the organs was better understood and more sensitive was of stimulation were devised. It is extremely effective in treating a wide variety of conditions.
What is Acupuncture – Your Questions.
To start defining what is acupuncture, we need to begin with a diagnosis of the individual’s energy imbalance.
A person’s energy is distributed through twelve energy pathways. Each pathway is associated with an organ and for each organ, there are a variety of patterns of energy imbalance – these are called syndromes. Syndromes are recognised by a combination of signs and symptoms which are recorded by the practitioner. This information, together with the observation of the tongue and feeling the pulse forms the basis of the diagnosis. From this, a personalised treatment plan is formed.
Treatment is the process of re-establishing the energy balance. This is done in two ways. One is the insertion of fine, stainless steel needles into acupuncture points, either stimulating or sedating the flow of energy of a specific pathway. The other is the application of warmth using a herb called mugwort (moxa) to the acupuncture point. Cupping and bodywork (acupressure or massage) are also used. These methods are often used in combination. As the balance improves, health improves.
I may recommend further investigations to be carried out by your GP where necessary.
Generally, you will come weekly, to begin with, and then, as you improve, less frequently. The speed of improvement varies more according to the person rather than the label of the complaint. Sometimes improvement is dramatic and only a few treatments are required. A period of months may be appropriate for chronic disease.
Does It Hurt?
Some people would like to try acupuncture, but may not because they assume it will be painful. The needles used are solid and much finer than those used for injections or withdrawing blood. In most cases, only a slight prick is felt when the needle goes through the skin. When the needle reaches the acupuncture point there is another sensation often described as a dull ache. The sensation felt is generally acceptable and lasts only 1 or 2 seconds.
What About Needle Sterilisation?
All members are bound by the Society’s Code of Practice which includes stringent standards of hygiene. These standards were formulated with the guidance of the Department of Health’s Public Laboratory Service and provide complete safety against all forms of infectious diseases. Only pre-sterilised disposable needles are used.
What Are The Professional Standards?
I trained at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading (CICM), and am a member of the BAcC (British Acupuncture Council).
Members are bound by the Council’s Codes of Ethics and Practice. Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance is provided by the Council for all UK members.
What About My Doctor?
If you have been seeing your doctor, you may want to tell him or her that you are coming for acupuncture. Acupuncturists prefer that you do, for example, if you are on medication (other than drugs which cannot be replaced), then we would hope to reduce or eliminate your drug intake and your doctor may need to be involved in any change of medication.
For more information about “what is Acupuncture”, please give me a call to discuss your condition(s) and how I might help?