People often look to alternative treatments when they feel that western medicine offers insufficient explanation or treatment - cases such as arthritis, frozen shoulders, golf/ tennis and running injuries, sinus problems, weight loss, stress, insomnia and gynaecological issues. They may have tried acupuncture before and found it effective or have friends and family who report back positively.
There are many controlled studies that show the effectiveness of acupuncture, for example by using acupuncture and MRI scanning. Even though there is still no definitive modern medical explanation of how it works, many GPs are happy to refer their patients to a British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) trained acupuncturist for pain relief and other symptoms.
Surprisingly to most new patients, acupuncture is very relaxing. We will talk you through everything we do and we will answer all your questions. All our needles are sterile, medical-grade stainless steel and are hair-thin so treatments are usually pain-free.
Acupuncture is based on the ancient traditions of Chinese Medicine, using fine needles inserted into specific points on the body. Most treatments involve up to 12 needles put into different places. We use acupuncture to support women with menstrual irregularities such as late ovulation, spotting or painful periods, PCOS and endometriosis and for those going through IVF or other assisted conception treatments. We also see men for sperm problems as well as stress and anxiety.
The 3-4 year acupuncture training involves 2 years of anatomy, physiology & pathology, a thorough understanding of 'red-flag' issues (i.e. when to refer to GP or consultant) as well as a working knowledge of medical pharmacology.
Usually the needles are placed around the lower leg, ankle, wrist and abdomen. Some patients have needle-phobia or specific parts of the body they don't want needled and we can work around that. For needle-phobic patients we often use points on the back so they don't need to see what's happening. Other patients find their curiosity and the fact that they're relaxed, actually helps them overcome any worries about the needles.
Research over the past 5-10 years has shown that acupuncture is effective and useful in many cases such as back and dental pain. Studies have also shown it's effectiveness in promoting blood-flow to the uterus and reducing stress & anxiety. We know that from a biomedical point of view, acupuncture stimulates blood flow, uses trigger points to relax muscles and also causes hormonal changes. Most 'meridians' correspond to nerve, muscle pathways or trigger points.