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What does treatment feel like?
Once the diagnosis has been made, the next step involves selecting specific acupuncture points which can then be used. This may be with needles, moxibustion (the gentle application of warmth to the points) or sometimes even with the gentle vibration of a tuning fork. Cupping is also an ancient Chinese tradition. We may use any of the above techniques in combination to treat an imbalance.
The extent of treatment depends on how ill a person is and how quickly the individual’s system responds. For some people, improvement may be dramatic in 2 or 3 sessions, for others it is more subtle and may take longer. Generally, a person comes weekly to begin with and then, as improvement occurs, less frequently. You and your practitioner decide when no further treatment is necessary or that treatments should be reduced to once a month, or every three months or at the change of the seasons, in order to maintain balance and health. The speed of improvement varies more according to the person rather than the label of the complaint.
Acupuncture and medication
Acupuncture is compatible with most prescribed drugs. If the question of reduction is appropriate, it is best considered once it is clear that you are benefiting from the treatment and in consultation with your doctor.
What happens after treatment?
Patients generally find the whole experience enjoyable and can feel relaxed or energised after a treatment. However, to help maintain the improvement it is best to avoid the following immediately after treatment:
Extreme physical and emotional states
Needles are made of stainless steel; they are sterile and disposable. The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34 000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists showed acupuncture to be very safe .
What is Western Medical Acupuncture?
This is the form of acupuncture most associated with Doctors, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors. It generally involves a much shorter training than that of a Traditional Acupuncturist and is used as a symptomatic treatment. It can include the following:
· Dry Needling (trigger point acupuncture, intramuscular stimulation).
· Use of acupuncture points for local or distant effects.
What happens at a consultation?
The first appointment takes approximately two hours. The practitioner asks about your medical and family history and your lifestyle. Information is gathered about how your various systems are working such as the quality of your sleep and how well you digest your food. A physical examination is also be carried out, including the taking of pulses at the wrists, measuring blood pressure, a gentle palpation of the abdomen and observation of the structure of the back.
We offer two types of acupuncture here at the Beacon Clinic, Traditional and Western Medical.
What is Traditional Acupuncture?
Traditional Acupuncture aims to ease symptoms by harmonising and balancing energy flow in the meridians (the energy channels of the body). It is thought that a person can develop an imbalance or deficiency in their energy as a result of conditions such as stress, injury, emotional trauma or infection. Acupuncture points are used not only at a physical level but also for a person’s mind, spirit and emotions. Once balance is restored, a person’s health improves and the natural capacity of the person to heal themselves can function better.
As the balance of energy improves, general health and well-being improves so the effect of acupuncture is to do more than simply help the presenting symptom. Patients frequently comment, 'I'm feeling better in myself'.
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