What is Acupuncture?


With Acupuncture Awareness week fast approaching, we thought we would explain what acupuncture is, the benefits and what happens when that treatment door closes.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which focuses on the mind and body being in perfect balance. During a session, fine disposable needles are gently placed into classical acupuncture points in order to stimulate change and correct imbalances in the flow of ‘qi’, our natural energy, along the channels of energy which flow around the body. It is when the qi is impaired through the body that imbalance and illness occurs. Acupuncture aims to stimulate the body’s own healing response and restore natural balance. Acupuncture treatment is focused on the cause of your condition as well as your symptoms.

Who has acupuncture?

Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions, general feelings of ill health or to enhance their overall feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is suitable for individuals of all ages, including babies and children.

What happens in a treatment?

An initial session will involve the assessment of your current symptoms, what treatment you have previously received, your medical history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. Women are also asked about their menstrual cycle, past pregnancies and childbirth. The acupuncturist will feel your pulses on both wrists and may ask to have a look at your tongue; this is all part of the diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will then discuss your next steps, suggest a course of treatment and may suggest some changes you can make in your lifestyle to enhance the long-term effects of the treatment.

The acupuncturist will then ask you either to sit or lie down and insert some acupuncture needles into specific points into your body.

What are the benefits?

Acupuncture can treat a range of conditions including:

  • Musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis, joint pain, back pain, sciatica and
    sports injury.
  • Dental pain
  • Asthma and hay fever symptoms
  • Digestive problems such as IBS, frequency and bloating
  • Nausea
  • Menstrual problems such as irregular periods, heavy or painful periods, PMS
  • Menopause
  • Headaches and Migraines

Treatment can also be directed at more general feelings of ill health such as; tiredness, stress, anxiety and low energy.

Increasingly women are choosing to have acupuncture to support them throughout pregnancy, labour and after giving birth.

What does it feel like?

Acupuncture needles are finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needles are inserted, you may feel a tingling or a dull ache. You should not experience any significant pain. If you do, let your acupuncturist know straight away. The needles used are single-use, sterile and disposed of immediately after use. Many people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after treatment. Responses can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness and, very occasionally, minor bruising can occur; however all reactions are short-lived and will not harm you.

Before and after an acupuncture treatment:

  • Common acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs; it is advisable to wear clothing that allows access to these areas.
  • Try not to go to a treatment on an empty stomach or after a heavy meal.
  • Do let your practitioner know if you are completely new to acupuncture so that they can take extra time to explain and ensure you are comfortable with the process.
  • Most people find acupuncture relaxing and can often feel sleepy; do take this into consideration, especially if you are planning to drive or operate heavy machinery after the treatment.
  • You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and ideally, give yourself time to rest. It is advisable not to consume alcohol for several hours after treatment.

Acupuncture Awareness Week 3rd-10th March

To celebrate Acupuncture Awareness week, Trinity Laban Health will offer 10% off treatments taken place between 3rd and 14th March 2014.