What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine having been used for over 3,000 years in China. The traditional Chinese view is that Qi flows freely when the body is in a healthy state. If there is a problem then the energy gets blocked and stagnates. So, by inserting small needles at specific acupuncture points on the body the stagnated Qi (energy) is released to flow freely.
How are the sessions conducted?
On the first visit it is best to allow 1.5 to 2 hours as a full medical history and discussion about the patient’s health and general lifestyle will take place as well as the actual treatment. The acupuncturist will also look at the patients tongue, listen to their pulse on both wrists and may take blood pressure readings, all of which will help the practitioner to make a diagnosis. This process will also enable the patient and practitioner to get to know each other before any treatment commences and to discuss the treatment plan. Follow up treatments will be shorter, approx 1 hr.
How does it work?
Needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points to increase or decrease the flow of Qi (energy) through that specific meridian thereby altering the state of energy in the body. There are several theories as to how the effects are produced. The important thing is that it does work and that any side effects are extremely rare.
Research has been able to show that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce natural pain relieving chemicals (endorphins). These assist the body to heal itself and gain pain relief. There is now increasing scientific evidence to support the effects of acupuncture.
Is it safe?
We are trained to use the strictest hygiene and therefore only use pre-sterilised disposable needles.
Will it work?
Research has shown that 70% of people gain relief from pain with acupuncture. It does not work for everybody and every condition but, frequently, good results are achieved when more conventional medicine has failed. There is nothing spiritual about it and patients don’t need to believe in acupuncture for it to work. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, with a build up of effects as treatment progresses. Some people are particularly good responders while others may see little benefit until they have had a few treatments; this is more likely with a chronic condition. Occasionally, the condition may become slightly worse at first. This is not a bad sign as it usually means the condition will respond. Treatment aims to help the body balance itself and is not just for the relief of symptoms but for well-being of the whole person.
Will it hurt?
This is the most common question asked by patients when needles are used. When inserted, the fine needles give rise to a sensation which should only be a temporary mild discomfort at the most. At times a more intense sensation is experienced. This is thought to indicate the movement of Qi (energy) at the acupuncture point.  
Is it best used in conjunction with any other arts?
Acupuncture can be used solely for many conditions or in conjunction with moxibustion &/or massage, especially for muscular skeletal conditions. As all the treatments here are holistic and complementary, then we would use any aspects of our training for the good of our patient. We often use relaxation and breathing techniques, together with Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Cupping, Acupressure, Massage, Chi-do Therapy (Hardiman methods), Tai Chi & Qigong movements & practices. Each person is treated individually and each treatment is unique.

The use of Vascular Autonomic Sign (VAS) diagnosis is highly advanced and very effective way using the pulse to indicate the correct positioning of needles in the ears.

What is it good for?
We make no claims with regard to any specific condition but used in conjunction with other methods is highly effective in a wide range of conditions.

Those who may be new to acupuncture and are nervous will be introduced to the arts carefully and with an understanding of the problem.  Many have had acupuncture and experienced a painful session.  That does happen in some forms where the needle is stimulated.  Just let us know if you have any concerns at all.