Acupuncture Awareness Week
Half price acupuncture sessions during March if booked this week*
It is Acupuncture Awareness Week : 1st to 8th March.
The following information is taken from the British Acupuncture Council’s website:
Acupuncture Awareness Week, supported by the British Acupuncture Council, aims to help better inform people about the ancient practice of traditional acupuncture. With 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year, acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. Yet many people only discover acupuncture as a last resort despite its widely recognised health benefits.
Traditional acupuncture forms a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine where the basis of diagnosis and treatment is that the mind and body should be in perfect balance.
This ancient system of healing has developed over 2,500 years originating in China and other far Eastern cultures. It is a gentle and effective treatment that focuses on helping the whole person, aiming to improve their entire health and wellbeing and today is widely used and accepted all over the world.
A growing body of evidence-based clinical research shows that traditional acupuncture, as practised by British Acupuncture Council members safely treats a wide range of common health problems including short-term relief of symptoms such as low back pain, tension-type headaches and migraines. It can also be used to help temporarily relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee (along with exercise and conventional medicine). In fact NICE recommends acupuncture for lower back pain, migraines and tension type headaches.
Today 2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out each year by British Acupuncture Council members and the therapy is widely accepted as an effective solution for a range of illnesses and symptoms. What’s more there is a substantial body of evidence to support this. Click here to find research that has been carried out on acupuncture including low back pain, nausea and osteoarthritis knee pain.
One of the most popular myths surrounding acupuncture is the size of the needle used in treatment. In fact research shows that 21% of the British public think an acupuncturist’s needle is as large as that used in an injection. The reality is acupuncture needles are actually the same width as a human hair and some are just 0.13mm in length. Most people might feel a slight tingling sensation when the needles are used, but this certainly does not feel like the pain associated with an injection.
Despite popular opinion, acupuncturists have degree level qualifications and adhere to codes of safe practice and professional conduct in order to be registered and insured by the British Acupuncture Council. The Council guarantees excellence in training, safe practice and professional conduct so patients are advised to look for a practitioner who has British Acupuncture Council membership.
Claims that acupuncture is unsafe are much discussed in the media, yet there is a growing body of research which backs the treatment’s safety. Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. This makes acupuncture one of the safest treatments available.
There are very few side effects from acupuncture when practised by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional acupuncture. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are mild and self-correcting.
Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies, children and the elderly. It can be very effective and is often integrated with conventional medicine. The treatment is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of symptoms resulting from illness, from clearly defined complaints or to improve general feelings of wellbeing and help with relaxation.
Many people turn to traditional acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or simply to improve their general sense of wellbeing. As traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of health complaints.
Take a look at the British Acupuncture Council’s research fact sheets to find out how traditional acupuncture can help you [click here].
Before having an acupuncture treatment it is advisable to follow a few simple steps to ensure you get the most out of your session:
Avoid alcohol and caffeine:
Coffee, strong tea or fizzy drinks all contain caffeine which is a stimulant. Although they can make you feel more alert and energised, caffeine can increase your heart rate. This means it can be harder for the acupuncturist to get accurate readings on your pulse and you may not feel the full benefit of treatment.
Try not to have a large meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse, and you may need to lie on your front. Similarly make sure you don’t turn up on an empty stomach as it may make you feel light headed.
Avoid booking an appointment before something strenuous or before a night out as that can be counter productive to the treatment.
It is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothes so that the acupuncture points, especially those on your lower limbs, are easily accessible.
Your acupuncturist will do a full diagnostic consultation asking questions about your medical history including all aspects of your health and wellbeing. Your acupuncturist will also look at your tongue and feel your pulses on both wrists. This comprehensive diagnostic consultation allows the practitioner to create a bespoke treatment plan including lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture.
The number of sessions required will depend entirely on the individual patient and the condition. Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week at first. Some change is usually felt within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient.
* One session available per person at reduced rate.