Traditional acupuncture is a deceptively simple form of medical treatment (Chinese Medicine) involving the insertion of extremely fine needles into carefully located parts of the body.
However, behind this apparently straightforward act sits a huge body of knowledge and philosophy, tried and tested over thousands of years and on millions of people. Acupuncture has been used to successfully treat many medical conditions in China for at least 2,500 years, and continues to this day to be used as a complement to modern medicine in hospitals throughout China. It is only comparatively recently that the ‘West’ has started to embrace this unique form of healthcare and rigorous research is starting to prove the efficacy of acupuncture.
At our acupuncture clinic in Maidstone we see many patients with back pain, arthritis (both osteo- and rheumatoid), neck pain and joint pains such as knee pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, hip pain and sports injuries. In addition we commonly treat patients to assist with breathing problems such as asthma, sinus pain, headaches – both tension headaches and migraines.
We also see patients for problems as diverse as fibromyalgia, digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, stress and emotional problems, gynaecological problems such as period pains, the symptoms of menopause and even functional infertility. The World Health Organisation has identified well over 100 conditions that can be treated by acupuncture – if you are interested click here to access their full report.
If you are looking for acupuncture in Maidstone and would like to find out if acupuncture could help you can call The Bower Mount Clinic on 01622 674656.
What makes the acupuncture approach different?
Human beings are hugely complex both physically and psychologically. The holistic framework of Chinese Medicine allows the practitioner insight into the heart of the patient’s life and condition, taking into account all of the contributory factors that can result in illness. The aim is to awaken and assist the body’s own powerful and natural self-healing mechanisms and empower patients to take part in this process.
A ‘symptom’ is a sign of disharmony within the individual indicating that they have fallen out of balance. The symptom itself may be the same in many patients, for example back pain, but the causes can be for a myriad of different reasons. So a different treatment approach is needed in each scenario, to reach beyond the symptom to the cause. This is how we define ‘holistic’ healthcare, the need to look at each individual and their imbalances as unique to them and their circumstances. This holism sits at the very heart of Chinese Medicine’s philosophy and practice.
People appreciate the attention to detail and depth of analysis that an acupuncture consultation and treatment provides. This ‘space’ often allows time for reflection and understanding of how, where and when their lives fell out of balance, giving valuable insight into how best to move forward, fix or transcend their problem. This often allows for a fresh perspective that helps them cope better with the challenges they face.
Sometimes we just don’t feel ourselves, which is not always detectable on the usual medical markers like blood tests and scans. However, we do know what it feels like to feel ‘well’ and a course of acupuncture can often restore this sense of harmony and well-being. Acupuncture is also used as a ‘preventative’ treatment to help maintain health and well- being. The rationale is that if the body is kept in balance disease is less likely to take hold, so you don’t have to be ‘ill’ to gain benefits. Many patients continue on this basis after successful treatment of their initial condition. Treatment frequency can range from once a month to once every 3 months to help keep you in the very best of health.
Is Acupuncture safe?
In competent and well-trained hands extensive research has shown that acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments you can undertake. Two surveys have been published in the British Medical Journal with over 66,000 treatments reviewed. Only a handful of minor and transient side effects were recorded. These included dizziness or bruising, which were mild and self-correcting. All the very fine needles used in treatment are single use, and disposed of immediately after treatment.
How many Acupuncture treatments will I need?
This depends on the condition and the person being treated. More chronic (longer term) conditions generally take longer to treat. Often a course of 6 sessions is recommended, usually once a week or fortnight, with progress then assessed at the end of this. Recent onset (acute) problems can often be treated more quickly, with 2-3 sessions being sufficient.
At the end of the first session I can usually give an idea as to how many sessions will be required. However, this is just a guideline as people and their powers of recovery vary.
Generally speaking the effects of the treatment are accumulative, meaning that gradual and increasing improvement is felt throughout the course of sessions.
Should I tell my Doctor I am having Acupuncture?
Yes. It is important that you keep your GP and other health care workers informed of your treatment. It is also important that you continue with any existing treatment that has been prescribed for you.
What can I expect from an initial Acupuncture consultation and treatment?
The first consultation takes approximately 45mins-1hour. As well as assessing your presenting complaint a full medical history is taken, including questions on lifestyle, stress, diet and bodily functions, followed by a physical examination of the body, tongue and pulses on both wrists. This part of Oriental diagnosis allows the practitioner to assess where the imbalance lies in the body, according to Chinese Medical principles.
It is recommended that you wear loose clothing and you may be asked to undress for the examination (a gown is provided if necessary).
After this it is recommended that you refrain from vigorous exercise and not drink alcohol for a few hours.
Who comes for Acupuncture treatment?
All ages of men, women and children, can benefit from acupuncture. Even young children can be treated with acupressure (acupuncture points are massaged, rather than needled). Balancing the body is beneficial for a person of any age and allows them to experience the best health that is available to them.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are incredibly fine, like a hair, nothing like hypodermic needles used for inoculations and blood tests. Subsequently there is usually very little or no pain experienced once the needles are inserted, and generally only a slight dull ache or tingling, which soon wears off. Treatments usually consist of only 2-5 points being needled as this gives the body a simple and clear message, resulting in a more focused treatment and better results. Many patients who have an aversion to needles before they come are pleasantly surprised at how little discomfort is felt.
A new patient 45 minute appointment costs £49.00.
A returning 30 minute appointment costs £47.00.
Acupuncture Maidstone | The Bower Mount Clinic