WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Laura is currently on maternity leave and will be back in February 2021.
Acupuncture is an ancient medical and health treatment system which was originally documented in China and has its roots in Taoist Philosophy. Early written evidence of acupuncture dates back 2000 years in China and the first archaeological evidence of acupuncture to Europe, some 5000 years ago. Today it is estimated that there are 3 million acupuncture practitioners worldwide. It can treat existing illnesses, assist in illness management and also be invaluable in protecting and maintaining good strong health throughout life.
Acupuncture is based on Yin Yang philosophy and the theory that Qi energy flows through a network of connected channels in the body, providing health, well-being and vitality. In a normal healthy person Qi flows strongly, smoothly and freely however if this flow of Qi energy becomes hindered or blocked then the symptoms of ill health can occur. A blockage of energy could occur through a physical injury, repetitive movement through work or a hobby, long-term stress, poor diet, lack of exercise or emotional pressure & shocks. An acupuncturist works to free blocked Qi energy in the channels of the body and this then allows the body to start to heal itself, physically, mentally and spiritually, returning it to balance, good health and well-being.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
From a physiological viewpoint, acupuncture works by using acupuncture needles to
stimulate key points on the peripheral nervous system. This sends signals up the spine to
the brain upon receiving these signals, the brain then triggers a series of reactions
influencing the production of the body’s communication substances – hormones and
neurotransmitters in order to decrease pain, relax the muscles, increase range of motion
and increase blood flow to the painful area. The resulting biochemical changes activate
the body’s self-regulating homoeostatic systems, stimulating its natural healing abilities
and promoting physical and emotional well-being.
STYLES OF ACUPUNTURE
Chinese Medicine (TCM):
FIVE ELEMENT ACUPUNCTURE
Within Five Element acupuncture, your individual constitution will resonate most
strongly with one of nature’s five archetypal forces: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.
One of these will describe your essential self.
Five Element acupuncture can adjust the balance of your body, mind and spirit, and help
to address your core issues.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
This approach uses acupuncture, to harmonise your organ functions and musculoskeletal
system, to treat specific symptoms and conditions.
BENEFITS OF ACUPUNTURE
disorders, cardiovascular conditions, respiratory disorders, gynaecological conditions and
infertility, addictions, fatigue and tiredness, musculo-skeletal conditions, back pain,
relationship issues, stress and insomnia, hair loss and premature ageing. Other people
choose acupuncture when they can feel their bodily functions are out of balance, but they
have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it very
beneficial and relaxing.
There is a growing body of evidence-based clinical research which is discovering how the
body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health
Colds and flu
Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders
Irritable bowel syndrome
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
OTHER TECHNIQUES USED
The treatment of specific points or areas may be supplemented with different techniques:
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of
mugwort – on specific acupuncture points to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been
used throughout Asia for thousands of years. It is used to strengthen the blood, stimulate
the flow of Qi, and maintain general health.
Gua Sha is a healing technique used throughout Asia. It is a form of massage that uses a
flat edged tool to release muscle tension and promote the movement of blood and Qi in an
Cupping is a technique used around the world in many different traditions. A vacuum is
created inside a clean glass cup, which is placed on the skin to release toxins and promote
the movement of Qi and blood around the body.
Tui Na is a Chinese massage therapy used to treat chronic pain, especially that caused by
muscle-skeletal conditions and injuries. It is, however, impossible to treat a specific
condition with Tui Na without improving the overall Qi status of the body. This means
that a whole range of physical and emotional problems can also be treated.
WHAT DOES ACUPUNTURE FEEL LIKE?
and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much,
The needles are either inserted for a second or two and then removed or left in place for 5-
20 minutes, depending on the desired effect. Patients describe the sensations differently –
the most common is that of a tingling or dull ache when a point is stimulated and the
feeling then quickly fades.
DOES IT HURT?
everyone is different and on occasion it can be painful, however it is still nothing in
comparison to the pain of hypodermic needles used in injections or when giving blood.
If you are concerned about the needles, acupressure can be used to achieve similar results
in most situations, so don’t let fear of needles put you off coming along for a chat to see if
acupuncture can help you
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON MY FIRST TREATMENT?
Your first consultation will be 1.5 hours and follow up treatments will be 1 hour. This first
session is an opportunity for you to voice any concerns about your health and not only
physical strains, but mental and emotional ones as well. Laura will assess your general
state of health in order to identify any underlying patterns of disharmony. You will be
asked about your current symptoms, your medical history and that of your close family,
your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state.
To discover how the energy (Qi) in your body is flowing Laura will then feel your pulses on
both wrists, noting their quality, rhythm and strength. She will look at the colour,
structure and coating of your tongue to give indicators of your physical health. She will
palpate specific acupuncture points and channels to diagnose any deficiency. I will
palpate your abdomen for points of discomfort and feel for temperature differences on
your torso and back to find areas of stagnation. Once enough information is gathered to
determine the likely causes of your problems, a treatment plan that is tailored to your
There are around 500 recognised acupuncture points on the body. Stimulation of specific
points affect the function of certain organs or areas of the body. However, the points
selected may not always be close to the part of the body where the problem is
experienced. For example, although you may suffer with headaches, needles may be
inserted in your foot or hand.
In conjunction with needling, Laura may use techniques such as Moxibustion, Cupping,
Guasha, Massage or Electro-acupuncture. She may also suggest dietary or lifestyle
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
In acupuncture theory, everyone is considered to be unique and therefore the number of
treatments required varies depending on the individual patient and what it is they want to
achieve. Initially, I recommend that you visit once or twice a week, although some
conditions/situations may need more or less frequent attention.
Sometimes the effects of treatment are dramatic and one or two treatments are enough to
get people back on track. With other patients, the effects are more subtle and they may
need treatment over a longer period. Individuals may also seek treatment as a
preventative measure. In this instance, after the initial few sessions, treatment will spread
out over longer periods and these treatments will often be seasonal.
I advise patients that they should anticipate coming for at least 6 treatments over a 4-6
week period initially. By the end of this period, most patients have a good idea whether
acupuncture is moving them forward and together we can decide on the next appropriate
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
Occasionally a small bruise can appear at a needle site. Sometimes people can feel dizzy
or tired after a treatment but this passes quickly.
Acupuncture diagnosis works to locate and treat the root cause of any ill health or imbalance, not simply treating the symptoms of illness. Fine, sterilised, single use needles are inserted to stimulate delicate points on the body to assist in correcting any imbalance.As well as the use of needles a range of other techniques may be used during a treatment, such as tui na (Chinese remedial massage techniques), cupping therapy (glass jars placed on the body with suction which are especially effective at promoting blood flow in an area, releasing muscle spasms and reinvigorating areas of intense muscular pain), moxibustion (the use of a herb called moxa (commonly known as mugwort) which is an invaluable technique for warming and nourishing the body in certain conditions) and acupressure (pressure applied instead of needles to stimulate acupuncture points, particularly usefulfor nervous patients and children).
Acupuncture can make an excellent contribution to the promotion of sustained good health and well being at any stage of life. Acupuncture is natural, effective and of benefit to everyone.
"Highly recommend going to see Laura for any problem you might have that Western medicine isn’t helping with. Cannot believe the difference in only one session."