Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

The point of acupuncture

Acupuncture works to help maintain your body’s equilibrium. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of ‘qi’, your body’s vital energy. For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons, qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in symptoms of  pain and illness. In certain instances, traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.

Treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feeling of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves.

Acupuncture works

Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine.

Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world. In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them.

Members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) practise acupuncture based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,000 years. The BAcC currently registers over 3,000 qualified practitioners.

Who has acupuncture?

Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.


Should my doctor know?

If you have been prescribed medication it is recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell your practitioner about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. BAcC acupuncturists are trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and you may  be referred to your GP if appropriate.

How many sessions will I need?

Frequency and number of sessions depend on your individual condition. You will normally be seen once a week at first. Some change is usually felt within three to four treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient. Some people choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain good health.

What can it do for me?

Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or simply to improve their general sense of wellbeing.

Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of conditions.

Remember that acupuncturists treat the person, not just the condition which they have, so each patient’s treatment plan will be different. However, you can always ask about other patients’ experiences, to give you an idea of what to expect. Many people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.

 

In 2009 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended that acupuncture should be made available on the NHS, as a cost-effective short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent non-specific lower back pain.

You can get more information on current scientific research into the effectiveness of acupuncture by looking at the Factsheets on the left.

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