Focusing on all aspects of your health
Traditional acupuncture works to maintain the body's equilibrium by focusing on all aspects of your health; physical, mental and emotional.
During your initial consultation we will need to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint and your general health and lifestyle. We will ask questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as your sleeping pattern, appetite, digestion, and your emotional wellbeing in order to build up a comprehensive picture of how your body is functioning as a whole.
Women will be asked about their menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirths. After the discussion we may take your pulse on both wrists and examine your tongue. Taking the pulse in Traditional Chinese Medicine differs enormously from Western Medicine as it is a key diagnostic tool which helps give important information about your current state of health.
A physical examination may also be necessary for muscular-skeletal problems and it is common practice to palpate along acupuncture channels for a wide range of ailments. Based on this information we will form a diagnosis and put together your personal treatment plan.
It is important to inform us of any medication that you are taking. Patients will not be asked to stop any medication they have been prescribed by their doctor.
During treatment very fine, sterile, one-use only needles are inserted in to acupuncture points. The needling sensation is often described as a tingling or a dull ache.
Needles are usually left in for 20-25 minutes whilst you rest and relax. The acupuncture points used are not always close to the part of the body where you experience the problem. For example, although you might suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand.
Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition and duration of illness. You will get an idea of length of treatment after the initial consultation and we will undertake regular reviews to check that satisfactory progress is being made. In the majority of cases some change is experienced after 2-3 treatments, although occasionally the effect is quicker. Depending on the condition, some patients may need treatment over several months or long-term.
A range of treatments may be used alongside Acupuncture:
Acupressure. Pressure is applied with fingers, thumbs and elbows to appropriate acupuncture points. It is often used with other massage techniques.
Massage. Depending on your condition, it may be appropriate to provide some massage prior to acupuncture.
Moxibustion or heat lamps. Moxibustion is a therapeutic herb used to infuse warmth into the body. It is either placed on the needle or in a moxa box. The heat from the moxibustion is used to warm an area and relax muscles. Alternatively a heat lamp can be used over the specific area.
Cupping. Cupping therapy has been practiced in China for many centuries. It involves the application of small glass or plastic cups on the skin and treats tight or sore muscles. When the cup is placed on the body a vacuum is created, this has the same effect as a deep tissue massage. The cups can be left over an area or glided along the skin. As with massage, cupping is a very relaxing treatment. It increases the circulation of blood, lymph and oxygen to the area to relax, soften and heal the tissues.