Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment available today. This method of treatment, in which fine needles are introduced into the skin, had its origins in China several thousand years ago. It is not possible to state definitely who first used this form of treatment or how it was discovered. It has waxed and waned in popularity not only in China but also in the Western World.
Many people may consider that it has only recently been introduced to European countries, but this in fact, is far from true. It was certainly known in Europe in the 17th Century and was recommended by eminent doctors in America at the beginning of this Century.
During the course of its development, many attempts have been made to explain how it works. There is, as yet, no complete scientific explanation for the undoubted effectiveness of Acupuncture. It is however known, that when the needles are inserted into specific points in the body (The Acupuncture Points) chemical changes occur and the transmission of electrical impulses along nerves can be altered. The Acupuncture points are electrically different from other areas of the skin, (they have lower resistance and higher conductance). Many Acupuncturists believe that research that concentrates on understanding the Acupuncture points and the changes that are brought about in the body when they are stimulated will result in a much greater understanding of the benefits of Acupuncture.
Acupuncture does not rely on the use of drugs and when used by a properly qualified practitioner, is virtually without side effects. It has a wide range of uses and these are not confined only to painful conditions.
The following is a guide to some of the conditions which can be greatly helped by Acupuncture:
- HEAD: Migraine, Trigeminal Neuralgia.
- JOINT and MUSCLES: Oesteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Low Back pain, Cervical Spondylosis, Fibrosis Lumbago, Phantom Limb, Sciatica.
- CHEST: Asthma, Bronchitis.
- GYNAECOLOGY: Menopausal problems, Pre-menstrual pain and syndrome
- DIGESTION: Hiatus Hernia, Colitis, Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, Gastric Ulcer.
- URINARY SYSTEM Recurrent Cystitis, Bed Wetting.
- SKIN Eczema, Psoriasis.
- EAR NOSE and THROAT Hay-fever, Sinusitis.
- NERVOUS SYSTEM Stress, Anxiety symptoms, Depression, Tension.
The above list is by no means complete and advice regarding any other conditions may be sought from this surgery. Many people request Acupuncture as an aid when trying to reduce weight or to stop smoking, it can be extremely effective in both of these situations. It does not of course replace will-power and will not, for example help you to stop smoking if you don’t want to give up smoking.
Treatment with Acupuncture, as already mentioned, is carried out by inserting very fine needles through the skin. Only minimal discomfort may be experienced. The needles used are much finer than those which you may have experienced when undergoing a blood test or receiving an injection, the amount of discomfort felt is in no way comparable. Do not be frightened by some of the needles you may have seen on television programmes. The large needles often demonstrated are never required.
A number of needles may be inserted at each treatment session and will be left in place for approximately 10 to 20 minutes; many people find their treatment session very relaxing. Treatment will be repeated at frequent intervals in the early stages and as a response is achieved the periods between treatments will be extended. Do not be surprised if there is no immediate response to treatment as often it is necessary to have a number of treatments before improvement occurs. It is possible occasionally to find that the problem for which you are receiving treatment is aggravated after the early sessions, but do not be unduly alarmed because the Acupuncture will not result in any permanent deterioration.
The needles may be stimulated by a very small electrical current. The current is passed through wires connected to pairs of needles. Although this may sound alarming, the only sensation felt will be a tingling where the needles enter the skin.
Many patients receiving Acupuncture ask what they should do about the treatment they are already receiving from their own Doctor. It is not necessary to stop drug treatment when commencing Acupuncture treatment and indeed it may be dangerous to stop some treatments abruptly. Be guided by your own Doctor who may be able to reduce your tablets when appropriate, we shall advise you if necessary.
There is no age limit to receiving Acupuncture, the youngest, usually not less than five years of age, and any age upwards, could benefit from this therapy.