What Conditions can respond to treatment ?

Recent changes to Advertising Standards law mean that acupuncturists are no longer able to print the wide variety of conditions for which Acupuncture has helped many thousands of people, in many different countries over the last 5,000 years!

The only conditions that can now be legally listed are those which have been shown to be successful using the western medical model of the 'double blind' clinical trial. In essence, Traditional Acupuncture treats the person and not the disease. So it is a nonsense to expect the same grouping of acupuncture points to successfully treat a wide variety of different people, whose disease symptoms just happen to have been given the same clinical 'label' by western medicine.

Experience shows that, if five or ten people come for treatment with a similar 'clinical' condition, they would each be likely to receive a different treatment or combinations of acupuncture points, according to a number of factors, such as:

  • their constitutional type (see 5 Elements page)
  • their specific physical symptoms
  • relationships between two or more different symptoms
  • mental & emotional response to their illness
  • length of time of their illness
  • factors that aggravate their symptoms
  • factors that alleviate their symptoms
  • general outlook on life
  • diet, exercise and lifestyle
  • levels of support from family, friends, employers
  • etc, etc

When all these and other factors are taken into account, it is increasingly obvious that each person's experience of their illness is unique to them, and consequently they need to be treated in a unique and individual manner. This is why applying the western model of the 'one-size-fits-all' clinical trial has, so far produced limited results in 'proving' the effectiveness of acupuncture for specific conditions.

In fact, this method for assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment, has so far only 'proven' a handful of conditions to be responsive to acupuncture treatment.

However, if you wish to discuss the much wider range of conditions to which patients have responded well in the past, please call me on 01822 616424 or 07977 429321 and I will be very happy to discuss how effective acupuncture treatment is likely to be for your individual circumstances and condition.


 What Happens during a Treatment ?

When you come for a first appointment, we will spend time, sitting in a relaxed atmosphere to talk about why you have come for treatment, in order to arrive at a 'Traditional Diagnosis'.

I will ask about your present condition, what has led up to it, and any relevant details about your personal and medical history, and about your lifestyle, diet, work, relationships and family history.

This will all help to build a complete picture of the possible causes, past and present, that may have contributed to your condition, and therefore how best to address both the underlying causes and treat any current symptoms.


The Twelve Pulses

After the diagnosis, you will be left alone to undress to your underwear, and to lie on the treatment couch, covered by a blanket.

Then I will check the twelve pulse positions on your wrists, which will help to evaluate the health, energy level and current condition of each organ. Taking the pulses, together with a brief examination of your tongue, will help me to determine the specific choice of acupuncture points for your treatment, all within the context of your overall diagnosis. 


 Acupuncture Needles & Moxibustion

I will use very fine, sterile, disposable stainless steel acupuncture needles, at the points that have been chosen for your treatment. Depending on the desired result, the needles are either inserted swiftly and left in position for about 20 minutes, or else inserted swiftly, stimulated briefly by turning them, and then removed again. 

The needling produces a brief sensation, known as deqi, as the needle connects with the qi energy vortex of the acupuncture point - it may feel sharp or like a dull ache, lasting for just a second or two. Most people find it easily tolerable.

For some patients, it is appropriate to use Moxa treatment or Moxibustion. This can be very helpful when there is a cold condition affecting a particular organ, joint, or even the whole system. Moxa is a dried herb, made from common mugwort. It can be rolled into a small cone and placed directly onto an acupuncture point, or it may be attached to an acupuncture needle, or used above the surface of the skin as a moxa-roll or moxa-stick. The moxa is lighted with a taper and allowed to burn down to produce a pleasant warming sensation. It will be removed before the heat makes any direct contact with the skin, so there is no danger of blistering.

The treatment ends when there has been a sufficient change in the twelve pulses to indicate that the body's systems are coming back into balance.


How Many Treatments ?

The amount of treatments required will vary from person to person, and depend on the nature of the condition, the length of time that you have had it and your responsiveness to treatment - some people respond very quickly, whilst others may take longer, particularly when there is an overall level of exhaustion or depletion. We can discuss all this at your first treatment.

Treatments are usually once a week to begin with; then as your condition and general well-being improves, treatments will become less frequent, until such time as they are no longer necessary.

Often people find it helpful to come for 'top-up' treatments once a month, or every few months, just to help keep everything in balance. Some people find that seasonal changes can aggravate chronic conditions, so it can be helpful to come for a treatment or two at a particular time of year.


 What about my Doctor and Medication ?

If you are receiving treatment from your doctor, then they are entitled to know that you are receiving acupuncture treatment - these days, most doctors are aware of the benefits of acupuncture, and many actively refer their patients for acupuncture.

If you are on medication, this should not interfere with your acupuncture treatment. Please bring details of any medication you are taking, when you come for a first appointment. As treatment progresses, it should become possible, with your doctor's co-operation, to reduce or even eliminate the need for continued medication. This will depend on a number of factors, which will be carefully considered.