Acupuncture

Reliable, Time Tested, Treatments For A Wide Range Of Conditions

How acupuncture can help you

Acupuncture is a sophisticated, holistic healing technique that has it’s roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, with a written history of over 3,500 years. Today acupuncture is used extensively throughout the West, and research has demonstrated it’s effectiveness in helping in a wide range of conditions, especially those conditions involving pain and or stress.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading”. – Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher 605BC – 531BC

How does acupuncture work?

Currently, there are a number of theories as to how exactly acupuncture works. It was once thought that inserting needles into specific parts of the body affected nerves and could inhibit their signal transmission. This was thought to explain why acupuncture could treat pain so well. But when doctors mapped the acupuncture points over the known nerve network they found that there was some correlation, but not nearly enough to explain most of its effects. Another theory stated that acupuncture stimulates the release of opioids and endorphins in the central nervous system. Although this could explain certain analgesic effects, it could not explain many others. The most current theory speculates that acupuncture points are actually strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals throughout the body. Stimulating points along these pathways influences neurotransmitter rates and resets the polarity of different parts of the body. This latest theory is by far the most comprehensive and most promising explanation for why acupuncture works in Western medical terminology.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

You may be unfamiliar with what exactly takes place in an acupuncture session. Wondering what happens during treatment, how many visits may be needed and does it hurt are all common concerns. In a typical first visit, we will take a detailed health history, fully discus your main condition and give you and acupuncture treatment. This can take up to an hour and a half to create an individualised treatment plan that takes into account your present physical, emotional, and nutritional condition, while focusing on your main health concern. During your session we may recommend changes to your diet, exercise and relaxation practices. You may also be recommended specific nutritional supplementation, depending on your condition. These recommendations are designed to reinforce the effects of the acupuncture treatment in a natural way without side-effects. By strengthening the effects of the treatment the results can often be longer-lasting, and obtained in a shorter amount of time.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture in general is not painful. The needles are extremely thin (about the width of 2 human hairs), solid, disposable and flexible. Sensations that you will normally experience are a dull ache or tingling which is associated with the movement of energy stimulated by the insertion of the needles. This is a desired affect and should not feel painful.

How many visits will I need?

How many visits you will need will depend upon a number of different factors. The longer you have had the condition the more treatment you will generally need. If you have an acute condition, like a cold or flu you will generally only need one or two sessions. If you have a condition that you have had for a short period of time you may require 3 or 4 treatments before your symptoms are reduced. Chronic conditions, that you have had for many years may take anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments until you notice significant changes. At your first visit, we will take a detailed health history and will determine an appropriate treatment plan based on your signs and symptoms and your diagnosis.

What Happens On Your First Treatment?

It is natural for you to feel a little unsure, or even nervous, when you first come the Practice for treatment. When you arrive for the first time you will be asked to fill out a short medical questionnaire. If you have booked for a free initial consultation you will have the opportunity to tell us more about your condition, and you will be able to ask any questions you want to help you decide whether a course of treatment at the Oriental Medicine Practice is an appropriate course of action.

If you have booked a full consultation and first treatment, your case history will be discussed in detail, we will probably ask you questions that seem to have no relevance to your condition. However, traditional Chinese medicine sees the body as a whole, and a symptom associated with the head could have it’s root in one of the internal organs, so we would ask you questions about your digestion if you came to us with headaches, for example. Depending on how complicated your case history is this consultation can take from twenty minutes to three quarters of an hour to complete.

You will, of course, have chance to ask any questions, and if you want, we will explain your diagnosis, how we intend on treating it and how many treatments we think you will need. (This is always the difficult part as the response to treatment is so individual.)
As a general guideline, the longer you have had your condition, the longer it will take to treat it, so acute conditions will normally only need one or two treatments. Chronic conditions that you have had for many years may take anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments until you notice significant changes.

How many visits will I need?

How many visits you will need will depend upon a number of different factors. The longer you have had the condition the more treatment you will generally need. If you have an acute condition, like a cold or flu you will generally only need one or two sessions. If you have a condition that you have had for a short period of time you may require 3 or 4 treatments before your symptoms are reduced. Chronic conditions, that you have had for many years may take anywhere from 4 to 10 treatments until you notice significant changes. At your first visit, we will take a detailed health history and will determine an appropriate treatment plan based on your signs and symptoms and your diagnosis.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

After taking your case history, we will explain, in non-technical language, what we have found, and your traditional Chinese diagnosis, and how it applies to your symptoms. We will then explain where we are going to insert the needles, and if necessary, leave the room to let you adjust any clothing. You will be invited to make yourself comfortable on the treatment couch.

After explaining the sensations you will experience we will insert the needles (90% of our clients do not feel them going in). The needles are very thin (0.16mm), solid, sterile and disposable. You will always be treated with new needles fresh from a sterile packet. When the acupuncture points are stimulated you will experience a dull aching sensation, or an electrical, tingling sensation. This is a positive sign that the needles are doing their job. In most cases the needles will stay in for about 20 minutes.

We will turn down the lights, play some soothing, gentle music, and leave you to relax. Most of our clients find that acupuncture is very pleasant, and that they feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a session.

Did you know?

There are many different styles of acupuncture being practiced, but that only one style has over 30,000 professional level texts written on it, and over 100,000 research papers published on it each year?

The style of acupuncture that we use is a style known as TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). As you look for information on acupuncture you will probably find information on many different styles; Japanese acupuncture, Korean acupuncture, Five Element Acupuncture, and others.

We use, and recommend, TCM acupuncture, as this is the style practiced and taught in China, it is the predominant professional style of acupuncture practiced world wide, and has over 30,000 professional texts written, and over 100,000 research papers published every year. No other style of acupuncture can boast this level of research and study.

What Can acupuncture treat?

In 2003, the World Health Organization published a landmark study, titled “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials”. A summary of their findings is quoted below.

Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture

The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials reported in the recent literature can be classified into four categories as shown below.

1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacillary
Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Headache
Hypertension, essential
Hypotension, primary
Induction of labour
Knee pain
Leukopenia
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sciatica
Sprain
Stroke
Tennis elbow

2. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
Acne vulgaris
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
Bell’s palsy
Bronchial asthma
Cancer pain
Cardiac neurosis
Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
Cholelithiasis
Competition stress syndrome
Craniocerebral injury, closed
Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
Earache
Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
Female infertility
Facial spasm
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Gastrokinetic disturbance
Gouty arthritis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
Hyperlipaemia
Hypo-ovarianism
Insomnia
Labour pain
Lactation, deficiency
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
Menire disease
Neuralgia, post-herpetic
Neurodermatitis
Obesity
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
Osteoarthritis
Pain due to endoscopic examination
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
Postextubation in children
Postoperative convalescence
Premenstrual syndrome
Prostatitis, chronic
Pruritus
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Raynaud syndrome, primary
Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine, traumatic
Schizophrenia
Sialism, drug-induced
Sjogren syndrome
Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
Spine pain, acute
Stiff neck
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Tietze syndrome
Tobacco dependence
Tourette syndrome
Ulcerative colitis, chronic
Urolithiasis
Vascular dementia
Whooping cough (pertussis)

3. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

Chloasma
Choroidopathy, central serous
Colour blindness
Deafness
Hypophrenia
Irritable colon syndrome
Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
Small airway obstruction

Let’s Start a Conversation