Who Has Acupuncture?
Many people use acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose acupuncture as a preventive measure to strengthen their constitution or because they just feel generally unwell.
What Conditions may Acupuncture Treat?
An increasing weight of evidence from Western scientific research is demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating a wide variety of conditions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has produced a list of disease categories for which Traditional Chinese Acupuncture may benefit, for example: sinusitis, migraine, nausea, indigestion, constipation, IBS, high blood pressure, neck-shoulder / back / knee pain, arthritis (both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), muscle strains and sprains and other soft tissue injuries, PMS, irregular or painful periods, menopausal syndrome, fluid retention, skin disorders, insomnia, infertility, stroke recovery, and more. In addition acupuncture is used for addictions to smoking or alcohol, and can be used for facial rejuvenation.
How Can Acupuncture Help Me?
Acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints to more general feelings of ill health and low energy.
Is there a difference between Chinese Acupuncture and Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture is a certification available to healthcare professionals such as Physiotherapists, Chiropractors and Osteopaths as a short course typically of just 4 days duration. This enables them to treat a limited number of musculoskeletal problems such as a knee injury.
At the other end of the scale is Chinese Acupuncture - a branch of Chinese Medicine. Practitioners of Chinese Acupuncture have trained for typically 1-3 years plus continuing professional development, and are able to diagnose and treat a vast spectrum of health problems. The high degree of both theoretical and clinical training they have received enables them to analyse and identify the root cause of often a series of problems - rather than simply treat the symptoms. They are able to select the best combination of Acupuncture points for you individually.
What does it Feel Like?
Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing. Patients often describe the needle sensation as a tingling or dull ache. This is one of the signs the body's qi, or vital energy, has been stimulated.
I'm scared of Needles, Can I Still Have Acupuncture?
Yes. Certain styles of needles can be inserted extremely lightly. Acupuncture needles are also much finer than the needles used for injections and blood tests. You may not even feel them penetrate the skin and once in place they are hardly noticeable.
How Should I Prepare for an Appointment?
It is important to have eaten at some time before your appointment, but try to avoid a heavy meal. It is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes so that the acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is widely regarded as a safe and reliable therapeutic modality in today's clinic. Patient's must ensure that their practitioner is suitably qualified. In the UK qualified Chinese Acupuncture practitioners hold either a DipAc or a LicAc qualification, depending on their mode of study (e.g. degree, part-time, specialist college). Acupuncture is not a regulated profession, however most practitioners voluntarily choose to join a professional self-regulatory body linked to their mode of training, and participate in continued professional development. There are many of these, including: The British Acupuncture Council; The Acupuncture-Acutherapy Council; The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture; The Acupuncture Society. Most local councils also require that the Acupuncturist registers both themselves and their clinic, which must be inspected and approved. Helen Trill and Bubbling Spring Clinic are registered with the Acupuncture-Acutherapy Council and Peterborough City Council, and are committed to continuous professional development.
How Will I Feel After the Treatment?
You are likely to feel relaxed and calm. If the treatment has been particularly strong you may feel tired or drowsy and it is worth bearing this in mind if you plan to drive or use any other machinery soon afterwards.
Are There Any Side Affects?
Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects. Any that do occur are mild and self-correcting. Occasionally there may be minor bruising at the needle point or a short-term flare-up of your symptoms as your qi clears and resettles.
Should I Tell My Doctor i am Having Acupuncture?
If you are currently receiving treatment from your doctor it is sensible to mention that you plan to have acupuncture. Your acupuncturist will need to know about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.
Should I Continue my Medication While Having Acupuncture Treatments?
Yes. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication but you should always consult your doctor regarding any change of prescription. DO NOT stop taking medication without professional guidance.