Welcome to Stubbington Natural Health Clinic, from the Director, Caroline Herbert |
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment which can relieve symptoms of some physical and psychological conditions and may encourage the patient’s body to heal and repair itself.
Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the body’s release of natural pain killers – endorphins and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received.
Acupuncture does more than reduce pain and has a beneficial effect on health. Patients often notice an improved sense of wellbeing after treatment.
Modern research shows that acupuncture can affect most of the body’s systems: the nervous system, muscle tone, hormone outputs, circulation, antibody production and allergic reactions, as well as the respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems.
The practitioner will assess each patient’s case and treatment will be tailored to the individual so it is impossible to give more than a general idea of what treatment might involve. Typically, fine needles are inserted through the skin and left in position sometimes with manual or electrical stimulation. The number of needles used for each treatment varies.
Treatment might be once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition responds. A typical course of treatment lasts 2-8 sessions.
Uses for acupuncture
Taking the above into consideration, here are some of the ways in which acupuncture may be effective:
- Pain relief for a wide range of conditions. It is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain for example back, shoulder, neck and leg pain.
- It has been used successfully to treat headaches, migraines, trapped nerves, chronic muscle strains, sports injuries and various kinds of arthritic and rheumatic pain.
- Functional bowel or bladder problems such as IBS or even mild forms of incontinence.
- Menstrual and menopausal symptoms for example period pains and hot flushes.
- Allergies such as hay fever, perennial allergic rhinitis and some types of allergic rashes such as urticaria and prickly heat.
- Other skin problems such as rashes and ulcers, itching and some forms of
- Sinus problems and chronic catarrh.
- Dry mouth and eyes.
- Help with stopping smoking, weight loss.
- Fertility problems.
Acupuncture - past, present and future
Acupuncture - like techniques may have been used for over 5000 years if evidence from Otzi the Iceman is considered. However, the most well known system of acupuncture was developed in the Far East from around 2000 years ago. This was first introduced into Europe in the 17th Century, but widespread interest in the technique did not develop until the political events of the early 1970's allowed travel restrictions between East and West to be eased.
In the past thirty years, because of the huge public interest in the subject, considerable scientific research on acupuncture has been carried out - although much remains to be done. We now know much more about how acupuncture works and some of the myths can be laid to rest. It is demonstrably untrue to say that the results of acupuncture are all in the mind.
As we learn more about it, the possibilities of using acupuncture alongside orthodox medicine increase. The distinction between complementary or alternative medicine and conventional medicine is becoming blurred as acupuncture is accepted in medicine. Acupuncture is already available in most hospital pain clinics and it is provided by an ever-increasing number of GPs and hospital doctors.
All the needles used at the Clinic are brand new and pre-sterilised. They are disposed of as clinical waste after use.
The first treatment lasts an hour to an hour and a quarter. This involves a full consultation about your health with the treatment lasting about 45 minutes. Acupuncture takes place in an atmosphere of calm to enhance relaxation during the treatment.
Caroline Herbert has been practising acupuncture at the Clinic for 20 years. She is happy to discuss your problems and their suitability to treatment by acupuncture on the telephone at a pre-arranged time to suit you.
Practitioners who provide this treatment include: