Acupuncture is a complex medical system involving the insertion of extremely fine needles at pre-determined points on the surface of the body. Acupuncture can be used as a therapeutic treatment by itself or combined with other forms of traditional Chinese medicines (TCM).
Acupuncture originated in China over three millennia ago but has since been embraced throughout the world. It is now recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a viable treatment for a wide range of health conditions including chronic pains such as headaches and migraines, musculoskeletal disorders, circulation problems, and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and addiction.
What happens at an acupuncture session?
Visiting an acupuncturist for a course of treatment is a similar experience to visiting a GP but can be somewhat different. The initial consultation can last between 30 to 60 minutes with the practitioner taking a detailed case history and possibly conducting a brief physical examination.
Subsequent sessions will take between 20-30 minutes. In these sessions, hair-fine needles are gently and painlessly inserted into ‘pressure points’ on the body carefully selected by the practitioner from hundreds of options based on your condition.
Acupuncture is known to stimulate sensory nerves in the body, raising the level of specific hormones and releasing pain-relieving endorphins, the body’s own naturally produced ‘opiates’. More traditional practitioners believe that an energy or life force, ‘Qi’, naturally flows throughout the body in and out of channels known as ‘meridians’. Acupuncture is believed to help restore the flow of Qi, restoring health and preventing disease.
If performed by fully qualified professional practitioners, acupuncture is often a painless and enjoyable experience free of harmful side-effects. All acupuncture needles used by practitioners are pre-sterilised, single-use and inserted gently so there is absolutely no risk of infection or damage to the skin.