What is acupuncture?

A bit of history

Acupuncture developed 2000 years ago in China when they used sharp edged tool to puncture and drain abscesses. It led them to discover that pressure or puncture on a specific area of the body relieved symptoms. It was then brought over to the UK in the 19th century. Since then, acupuncture and it’s efficacy have been medically researched, becoming more popular as a complementary therapy. Some countries in Europe use acupuncture in their healthcare centres and hospitals.

What happens at an acupuncture treatment?

At the start of an acupuncture treatment, your acupuncturist will ask about your medical history and get a full understanding of what you may be struggling with or what you would like to be treated for. They will then ensure you are aware of the treatment process and get your informed consent to continue with treatment.

Your acupuncturist will ensure you are comfortable before inserting any needles. The treatment lasts approximately 20 minutes and it’s important to be relaxed and stay still. Some acupuncturists leave you during the treatment with music on to allow you to meditate or relax.

(Note: Unless you specify you want to be left alone, I sit quietly in the room, whilst the music is on.)

How does acupuncture work?

It is common sense to wonder why insertion of needles to a variety of points on the body – often bearing no obvious relationship to the problem can have such a dramatic effect. The proof is in the terms of symptomatic relief and improved health and well-being.

Western scientists have been studying the mechanism of acupuncture for years. Their major hypothesis is; when the needles are inserted in the skin, they stimulate the nerves and the brain releases endorphins which results in feeling euphoric, happy, and less pain. In addition to this theory, acupuncture increases blood flow to the painful area, increasing oxygenation to tissues and cells therefore promoting healing. These western theories are what scientists can prove, however with acupuncture being an eastern healing system, there is more to it than meets the eye, this theory doesn’t explain how acupuncture can help a wide range of conditions.

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