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Acupuncture, Electro-Acupuncture, Moxibustion

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. After extensive diagnosis of the patient, fine needles of varying sizes are inserted into very specific acupuncture points found along energy channels or meridians through which the energy or Qi flows. (Qi is pronounced “chee” and loosely described as an individual’s life “force”).

This balances and harmonises Qi energy flows linked to the point or points being needled. Acupuncturists believe that acupuncture is absolutely essential for maintaining a perfect balance between body and mind.

 

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that when Qi doesn't flow freely through the body, stagnation occurs which results in pain and illness. So by restoring the free flow of Qi, pain is reduced and health restored.

Acupuncture is most effective when you feel the arrival of Qi where the needles are inserted (this is called Deqi). You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted but you  shouldn't experience any significant pain. If you do, let me know straight away. You may also feel a sensation up or down the meridian – even in parts a long way from where the needle has been inserted. Not every patient feels Deqi in the same way and for some the arrival of Deqi may be very slow if you are Qi deficient. In this case, you will need a number of sessions to improve your Qi levels.

In some cases, I may rotate the needles or stimulate them with a mild electric current (known as electroacupuncture).

Some people experience mild, short-lived side effects such as:

  • mild bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin

  • drowsiness

  • feeling slightly nauseous 

  • feeling dizzy or faint

  • temporary worsening of pre-existing symptoms

I may also use moxibustion to treat an ailment. Moxibustion is an essential part of Chinese medicine which uses moxa, a soft woolly substance prepared from mugwort leaves. In moxibustion the moxa is held over specific acupuncture points or meridians or is wrapped around or placed on top of the acupuncture needle. The herb is lit and as it smoulders slowly, a therapeutic heat permeates the skin or through the needle and enhances the flow of ‘qi’ and blood in the area being treated. 

If you have a bleeding disorder, such as haemophilia, or are taking anticoagulants, talk to your GP before you see me.  I will also want to know if you have high blood pressure or a number of other pre-existing conditions like cancer, pregnancy, have a pace-maker inserted, thrombosis, have varicose veins or carrying an infection anywhere.

If you don't like needles or it is advisable not to have  acupuncture because of any pre-existing condition- don't worry there are a number of treatment options available !