Can Acupuncture Help Me?
Below are some frequently asked questions with some frequently given answers:
Is there a standard treatment for my condition?
The first thing to understand is that in terms of traditional acupuncture, you are unique. This is one of its underlying principles and it is for this reason there is no standard treatment. Two people with the same medical diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments. Your treatment will be individually tailored to giving relief from the symptoms you are experiencing and at the same time supporting your overall health. This can include complementing medical treatments and alleviating side effects of medication.
What is the theory behind acupuncture?
The basic tenant of traditional acupuncture is illness, pain or poor function occur when the body's vital energy, or qi (pronounced chee), cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. Some conditions are hereditary. Your treatment will always be aimed at restoring the flow of qi.
How many treatments will I need?
Because everyone is different it can be difficult to say how many treatments you will need. For some people there may be a marked improvement after one or two treatments, for other it takes longer and, with serious illness it may only be possible to alleviate some of the symptoms. Treatment tends to be cumulative so a course of four or six sessions is often recommended after which we can review progress. Often, as symptoms improve and you start to feel better, treatments are needed less and less freqently until they are no longer needed. Some people continue periodically with 'maintenance' treatments, or as an enjoyable way to keep on top of stress and support healthy lifestyle choices.
Can I get a diagnosis over the phone?
I am always happy to speak on the phone, and, because there is no standard person and no standard treatment I will need to see you before I can assess what is going on with you. When someone is thinking about acupuncture I often suggest coming in for a consultation and treatment. This allows me to make a working diagnosis and gives you an experience of acupuncture which is a good place to decide whether you want to continue.
What evidence is there that acupuncture works?
Chinese medicine, of which acupuncture is a part, is one of the oldest forms of medicine in existence. It is the accumulated wisdom of many generations of practitioner’s who have tried and tested its ideas and practices for almost two thousand years. Medical science is yet to establish the mechanisms of how it works and standard research methods, such as those used to evaluate pharmaceutical drugs, are not very useful when applied to acupuncture.
Some people can be very dismissive of traditions that do not fit neatly into the scientific and technological paradigms but, if it is understand that acupuncture is from a different paradigm it becomes easier to accept science can not be the only yard stick to measure it by. Having said that there is a growing body of qualitative research evidence about the effectiveness of acupuncture, a selection of which you can find here >