Acupuncture points

  • There are some 365 points on the human body.
  • Each point has a specific set of functions.
  • Usually, several points in different places are used to meet the treatment principle.
  • Points on the foot may be used for headaches, for example.

Treatment can utilise:

Moxibustion

  • Moxibustion is a technique used to treat specific complaints by heating the acupuncture point, either directly (on the surface) or indirectly (on the inserted needle).
  • This is done by burning a smouldering herb known as Artemesia Vulgaris (commonly called mugwort).

Cupping technique

  • 'Cupping' is a technique frequently used in treatment by trained practitioners.
  • It involves creating a vacuum in cups (usually made from glass or bamboo) and placing them on the affected area.
  • The suction allows stuck energy to be released and the free flow of Qi relieves the tension in the area.
  • It is also used to help expel the symptoms of a cold or flu.

Electro-Acupuncture

  • Also called electro-pulse stimulation (EPS).
  • A more recent development (about 50 years ago).
  • Involves the application of low-level electrical pulse either via an inserted needle using probes or pincers or directly onto the surface of the body using self-adhesive electro pads.
  • Can be used for a variety of complaints but primarily as an effective pain management technique for anything between 10-30 minutes at a time.

Auricular Acupuncture

  • Also called auriculotherapy, it is often used to diagnose and treat numerous conditions including drug or alcohol abuse rehabilitation.
  • There are some 200 points on the outer ear and each relates to a specific part of the body.
  • Often, ear points are combined with points on the body to maximise the results.

Acupuncture Needles

  • Unlike hypodermic needles acupuncture needles are not hollow but solid.
  • They vary in size (gauge) and in length.
  • Only sterilized, disposable needles are used.

Needle technique

  • There are several different needle techniques used in acupuncture.
  • Needles can be inserted and left in for a duration or they may be inserted, turned and removed immediately.
  • Different techniques are used to either 'reinforce' the Qi or to 'sedate' it, whichever is applicable at the time.

How does acupuncture work?

  • Can be understood on the basis of both an energetic model and a biomedical model of western medicine.
  • It recognises a vital energy (Qi) behind all life forms and life processes which can be manipulated.
  • Pain, illness or disease results from a blockage or imbalance of the flow of Qi.
  • Acupuncture can correct or rebalance this flow and trigger the body's own healing mechanism to restore health.
  • Acupuncture also involves neurochemical and physiological processes.

Clinical research demonstrates that acupuncture:

  • Stimulates bone regrowth.
  • Stimulates the production of cortisol.
  • Stimulates production of dynorphin, endorphin and enkephalin (pain modulators).
  • Regulates blood pressure.
  • Regulates serotonin (spinal cord pain modulator).
  • Increases red and white blood cell count.
  • Stimulates the clotting factor.
  • Regulates the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Regulates the peripheral blood flow.
  • Enhances the immune response.
  • Reduces the allergic response.
  • Modulates the immune system.

Other beneficial side effects:

Patients reported that most of the time they:

  • Feel better therefore miss fewer work days
  • Get along better with others
  • Have less pain
  • Have more energy
  • Are more focused therefore work more efficiently

Who has acupuncture?

  • Acupuncture is a safe treatment for most people including young children and babies.
  • Many people use it in preventative care.
  • It can be used alongside medicine for both chronic and acute diseases.

Does it hurt?

  • Acupuncture needles bear no resemblance to those used for injections or blood tests.
  • When needles are inserted, the sensation is often described as a 'tingling' or a 'heaviness' called deqi which is a necessary part of the treatment.
  • Acupuncture is not painless, but neither can it be described as painful.
  • Very relaxing, patients are advised not to drive directly afterwards or do anything that can cause risk or injury.

Is it safe?

  • All licensed acupuncturists observe a Code of Safe Practice that lays down stringent standards of hygiene and sterilisation for all equipment.
  • These procedures provide protection against the transmission of infectious diseases.

What happens at treatments?

  • A full medical history is taken at the first session.
  • You will be asked about your current symptoms, treatments you have received so far, your diet, the state of your body's systems, sleep patterns and emotional factors.
  • The pulses and the tongue are also studied as this provides vital information about general health.

How many treatments are needed?

  • In the theory underlying traditional acupuncture, each person is unique, so the number of treatments required varies.
  • Some change is usually seen after 4-6 treatments.
  • Depending on the complaint, treatment may be required regularly (perhaps once or twice a week), sometimes several times a week, every two weeks or monthly.

Should my doctor know?

  • If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it makes sense to inform him/her of your plans to have acupuncture.
  • Acupuncture can enable you to reduce or even stop taking certain medication, but your doctor should be consulted regarding any changes to dosage or prescription.

Contact Ian for enquiries and appointments

What my patients say

"Ian has treated me for various ailments including anxiety as well as tendon issues. His combination of massage and acupunture achieves great results by aiding relaxation and confidence, as well as providing muscular pain relief."

Debbi - Marlow