Acupuncture HistoryAcupuncture derives from the Latin word "acus" for "needle" and "pungere" for "puncture". It is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years in China and the Far East. Acupuncture is simply the use of needles to stimulate specially designated points on the body. Chinese Medicine is holistic: it treats the whole person rather than symptoms in isolation. Traditional acupuncture involves a complex system of examination, diagnosis and treatment. It seeks to alleviate symptoms and pain by assisting individuals to find balance in their lives. Preventive maintenance is central to the philosophy of Chinese Medicine and this extends to what we generally consider our mental health.
What happens in the treatment?
In the initial consultation I will ask detailed questions about your symptoms. I will also ask questions about your general health, lifestyle and medical history, as this helps me understand the bigger picture. Part of the diagnostic process involves me feeling your pulse on both wrists and looking at your tongue.
I will then choose specific points to needle; these will not always be at the location of the pain, for example for back pain I might use points on the ankle as I am accessing channels which connect to different parts of the body. I may leave the needles in for up to 30 minutes or remove the needle immediately after insertion, depending on the type of treatment needed.
Does acupuncture hurt?
I use ultra-fine needles which are about the width of a human hair so they are unlikely to be painful but you will often feel a sensation which is sometimes described as a dull ache or tingling.
How many treatments will I need?
The course of treatment needed depends on the individual and condition being treated; therefore the frequency and length of treatment will vary. Normally I recommend weekly treatments initially and then stagger treatment at fortnightly intervals as the condition improves. A long-term standing condition might take longer to resolve than an acute condition.