What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a system of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been practised for over 3,000 years in the East. Acupuncture brings the body into harmony by the insertion of extremely fine needles which are single-use and as fine as a single hair. Qi (Life-force energy) flows through the channels and meridians of the body but when there is a blockage, too much or not enough energy in the channels we can experience this as pain (physical or emotional) or dis-ease in the body. Acupuncture is only one part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and within your consultation and treatment, you may be offered a massage, cupping, gua sha, lifestyle, exercise and dietary advice. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system in itself and is still practised in hospitals throughout China today. It complements Western Medicine perfectly.
What Can Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture treats the whole person and brings them into balance. Imbalances in the body can lead to ill health both physically, emotionally and mentally. Acupuncture gently nudges the body back into balance.
Medical conditions can manifest in the body differently in every individual and acupuncture aims to treat you as a whole and as an individual.
Acupuncture treats people with:
Pre-menstrual tension, Grief, Absent periods, Low energy, Painful periods, Depression, Menopause, Headaches (Migraine, Cluster, tension), Infertility, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, Muscle and joint pain, Sciatica, Stress, Back pain, Anxiety, Muscle tension, Insomnia, and Gout
It can also support those living with cancer, MS, ME and fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to treat the person and not the condition and this will mean that no two treatments are the same even though from a Western Medical perspective you may have been diagnosed with a specific condition. Conditions manifest differently in each individual affecting the emotions and physicality of a person in numerous ways and acupuncture aims to treat this by bringing the body back into balance.
To find more about which conditions can be treated click on this link: https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/category/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions.html
What to expect...
You will be warmly welcomed to the clinic and given a full and detailed consultation at your first appointment by Donna, who studied for 3 years and gained a Batchelor of Science with Honours in Acupuncture at the renowned Northern College of Acupuncture in York. She is also an accredited member of the British Association of Acupuncture.
At your first appointment I will take a very detailed history of both your physical and emotional health.
You will be listened to within a safe space with complete confidentiality.
Your pulse and tongue will be checked as they provide me with good information regarding your health from a traditional Chinese medical perspective.
You will have the opportunity to describe to me exactly how you are feeling and what needs to be treated.
I will formulate a plan of action with the information I have been given from you. We can then work together to bring you back to good health and harmony both physically and emotionally.
A course of treatments is usually recommended and we can discuss this at the appointment.
You will be given a gentle treatment at your first appointment. If you've never had acupuncture before there is no need to worry as you are being treated by an acupuncturist who is registered with the British Acupuncturist Council and you can be assured of a safe and professional standard of care.
The needles used are extremely fine, single-use, sterile and pre-packaged ensuring complete safety. They are that fine that insertion is painless and you will hardly feel a thing.
Our aim as at Boston Spa Acupuncture is to keep you at complete ease so that you are able to relax fully
Cupping is an effective adjunct to your traditional Chinese medicine treatments. A simple and safe procedure, cupping involves either the combustion of oxygen inside a glass jar ('fire cupping') or a pumping action inside specifically designed plastic cups to create a vacuum. When placed on the skin, this vacuum causes a suction making the cups grip to the skin. Whereas massage is a pressing technique, suction cups have a pulling action. Stationary cupping is where the cups are placed on specific points and retained, while for 'sliding cupping' the cups are moved along muscle regions or acupuncture channels. A lubricant such as a massage oil is used for this technique. Cupping is a useful way to invigorate stagnant qi and blood, promoting their circulation through the channels and muscle tissue.
Cupping can leave circular marks on the skin such as those seen on Olympians such as Michael Phelps. Your therapist will provide photos to show you how this looks.
Cupping therapy is often used in conjunction with acupuncture.
Gua Sha is a hands-on medical treatment that has been used throughout the East for centuries. Using an implement (traditionally Jadestone) the therapist uses a press-stroke technique to bring blood stagnation to the surface area on the body where the patient is experiencing pain and stiffness. The benefits of Gua Sha are numerous. It can resolve spasm and pain and promote normal circulation to the muscles, tissues, and organs directly beneath the area that is treated. Gua Sha is often used in combination with Acupuncture. Gua means ‘to rub’ or ‘press stroke’. Sha is a term that describes the blood congestion in surface tissue in areas where the patient may be experiencing pain. Sha appears as small red dots ‘petechiae’ and pain should immediately shift (Nielsen 2012). Your therapist will provide photos of what ‘Sha’ could look like after the treatment.
The colour of the Sha can give important information about the patient’s condition. Pain relief lasts even after the Sha has faded. After treatment, the patient is advised to keep the area protected from wind, cold and direct sunlight until the Sha has faded. They are also advised to eat moderately and drink plenty of water.
Moxibustion is a herb (Mugwort) that is used in conjunction with acupuncture to create heat by gently and effectively warming the body up. Your therapist may place the herb on the needle or use a technique to gently warm the acupuncture needle.