Acupuncture (Wednesdays and Thursdays am)
Acupuncture is a healthcare system based on principles which go back nearly two thousand years and is an effective treatment for pain, stress and injuries.
Many people use acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions whilst others choose it as a preventive measure to strengthen their constitution or because they just feel generally unwell. Acupuncture has a very positive model of good health and function, and looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance.
Traditional acupuncturists believe that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's vital energy, or Qi (pronounced Chee), cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this: emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection and injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine sterile single-use needles into specific acupuncture points, the overall aim is to re-establish the free flow of energy, to restore balance and to trigger the body's natural healing response.
While acupuncture can be used as a stand alone therapy, it is also very effective when integrated with conventional medicine and is now widely used in the NHS. Acupuncture is recognised by The World Health Organisation (WHO) and lists a wide variety of diseases or disorders for which it has tested as having positive results in controlled clinical trials.
What can Acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture promotes the body's natural healing process and is used to reduce pain and restore health. Amanda is a licensed Acupuncturist who has helped many people with a wide range of health problems including:-
Chronic Pain IBS
Stress and anxiety Allergies
Fertility and IVF support Headaches
IBS Pregnancy related issues eg. Breech baby
What to expect
During your first appointment, I will need to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint as well as your general health and lifestyle. This will involve asking questions about your current symptoms and medical history, as well as things, such as, your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, and your emotional wellbeing. If you are a woman I will also ask about your menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth. You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information that you give helps to form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle. I will also take your pulse on both wrists and examine your tongue. I may also feel for areas of muscular tension or pain if I feel it is necessary.
Your main health complaint
When talking about your main complaint, I will ask you to describe in your own words, what the symptoms feel like and how severe they are. I will also ask you how long you have been having the symptoms, whether they are constant or intermittent and how frequent they are. You should also mention any medication that you are taking and whether you have tried any other therapies.
Treatment plan and treatment
Based on all of the information that you have given me, I will make a diagnosis and put together an appropriate treatment plan for you, which might include lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture.
During your acupuncture treatment I will use very fine, single-use, pre-sterilised needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body. Because energy flows all around the body, the points I may use won't necessarily be close to where you experience pain or discomfort. For example, if you suffer from headaches I might insert a needle into your foot or hand.
As well as inserting needles into specific acupuncture points, I may also use the following techniques to treat you:
Moxibustion - this is the technique of applying heat to an acupuncture point or particular area using moxa (a therapeutic herb) and/or a heat lamp. This application is usually used to warm and relax muscles and strengthen the body's energy.
Cupping - this is the technique which uses glass cups, vacuum sealed and placed on the skin to stimulate blood flow, move blocked energy and soften knotted muscles.
Gua Sha - this is the technique of rubbing an area of the skin with plastic credit card shaped tool and is used for increasing blood flow to particular area as well as softening knotted muscles
Tui Na - this is a chinese therapeutic massage which is done over the clothes and is used to relieve muscle tension, stimulate acupressure points, warm muscles and move blocked energy in the body.
Lifestyle advice If it is appropriate I may suggest ways in which you can enhance the long-term effects of your treatment. This may involve making changes to your diet and daily routine.
Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after a treatment. You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment. You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment. Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Cupping and Gua sha can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.