How does Acupuncture work?

In Chinese medicine, Qi is the motivating force behind all living things, it streams through the body along a series of meridians and health problems, both physical and emotional, can then be interpreted as 'inharmonious' flow of Qi. Ancient Chinese texts identified the acupuncture points on the body where Qi accumulates or comes close to the surface making external interaction possible. By interacting with the flow of Qi, acupuncturists are able to assist the body to rebalance itself to promote entirely safe and natural self-healing. It also enables each patient to be treated as an individual with a treatment plan unique to them.

What to expect

After a thorough discussion each patient is diagnosed using a mixture of techniques including observation of the tongue and the taking of the radial pulse before the practitioner will use needles, moxa (a Chinese herb with warming qualities) and perhaps cupping, to affect the flow of qi. The needles are very fine and therefore cause minimal discomfort. Most people report that the whole experience is very relaxing with minimal side effects.

Benefits of acupuncture

There is an increasing body of evidence-based clinical research discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and benefits for a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture is used by people to relieve specific aches and pains, such as arthritis, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems. Some people use acupuncture when they feel generally unwell with poor energy levels but have no obvious diagnosis. Many people come simply because they find it makes them feel calm and relaxed.

Facial Acupuncture

Facial acupuncture, also known as cosmetic acupuncture, is a natural and non-toxic way to minimise fine lines and wrinkles and renew the glow of the skin to provide a more youthful look to the face. It also helps to restore facial muscle tone and scientific studies have suggested it has a beneficial effect on facial elasticity.

We begin with a consultation and discussion about your skin, general health and well-being, taking into consideration classical Chinese medicine philosophy. The treatment begins inserting very fine hair-like needles into acupuncture points along the body determined by the consultation. This is then followed by facial needling, inserting very fine needles into points on your face to encourage the flow of Qi and blood and to increase the production of collagen in the face. Once the needles are removed, the treatment finishes with a relaxing facial massage.

You may find that your skin is slightly pink for a couple of hours after the treatment, this is a sign that the Qi is stimulated in the body, and the treatment is working! There is a possibility of slight facial bruising where the needles are inserted which should disappear in a few days, so it’s best not to have your first treatment immediately before an important event.

Facial enhancement acupuncture has an accumulating impact. While a single treatment can have a positive effect, to maximise the benefits and their longevity a course of 6-10 treatments weekly followed by monthly top-ups will help maximise and maintain the benefits of facial acupuncture.

Women's Health

Natural & assisted conception support

Whether you are under-going assisted conception or trying to conceive naturally we are here to support you on your journey. We aim to bring your internal environment into a better state of health to optimise your body for conception and pregnancy by

  • Reducing stress and cortisol, stress can cause reproductive hormones to shut down and can have significant impact on our fertility.
  • Regulation of the menstrual cycle and ovulation, often hormones are imbalanced by the use of contraceptives causing cycle irregularities.
  • Support alongside assisted conception protocols, studies such as the Paulus have shown pre and post embryo transfer acupuncture to be effective in increasing pregnancy rates.
  • We can also support male fertility using the same principles to optimise the internal environment for sperm concentration and motility.

Pregnancy and post-partum support

Whilst pregnancy is often expected to be a happy and ‘blooming’ time of a women’s life the reality is it can be fraught with anxiety, hormonal related mood changes and general aches and pains. The same can be said post-partum when women are not only adjusting to the physical and hormonal changes in their body but doing so on little sleep and often feeling overwhelmed. Acupuncture is a safe and gentle way to support your pregnancy and post-partum recovery,

  • Prepare your body for birth by balancing Qi flow to aid natural labour
  • Help with feelings of nausea and fatigue
  • Guide your body in its journey to regain its natural state of hormonal balance and energy post-partum (not something that should happen overnight!)
  • Reduce stress and cortisol levels which have been proven to have a negative effect on both foetuses and young babies
  • Acupuncture and moxibustion can also be used to aid turning a baby in the breech presentation

Menopause Symptom Management

Most women will experience some symptoms around their menopause, however 8 in 10 women will suffer from symptoms for the time before their period stops until at least 4 years afterwards. These symptoms can include but are not limited to: hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, reduced libido, headaches, joint stiffness, anxiety and UTI’s. Whilst it’s important to remember that this is an entirely natural process for all women, the effect of the symptoms should not be undermined and symptom management can greatly improve a woman’s quality of life throughout the menopause.

  • Again hormones are a key player and by balancing the bodies Qi into a harmonious state the body can deal more easily with fluctuations that occur.
  • Chinese medicine views this natural process as a decline of the bodies Yin, or cooling and moistening substances, which can help explain some of the symptoms from an Eastern perspective. Acupuncture aids the re-balance of yin and yang internal energy to reduce the severity of symptoms.

General Women’s Health

Sometimes being a woman is tough, especially in the current day where more is expected of people. Many women live in a state of chronic tension, juggling too many balls and resulting in chronic tiredness and fatigue, poor sleep, digestive and skin problems, gynaecological conditions, lack of focus and clarity and an unbalanced circadian rhythm, with little time to process any emotions you may be feeling in a given moment.  Sometimes you may even feel ‘unwell’ without being able to put your finger on any one symptom or even having time to think about your symptoms or why! Acupuncture works by adjusting the body’s flow of Qi and stimulating its ability to cure itself both physically and mentally. It also allows you the time to dedicate to your own self-healing in the safe and calming environment at the Perrymount.

Pain Management

Acupuncture views health as the harmonious flow of Qi in the body. Anything that disrupts the flow will have an effect on the whole body. In the case of a physical injury, local pain, swelling and loss of function can be attributed to a restriction of the flow in that area, so the cause and immediate effect are apparent. Moreover, Chinese medicine holds that emotional factors can also impair the flow of Qi, so that a shock may give rise to physical symptoms and the associated discomfort.

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Acute Injury

The pain and discomfort of a physical impact or overuse injuries such as strains and sprains may in time appear to resolve on their own. Scar tissue is formed as part of the body’s natural process of repair. This may be externally obvious or internally invisible but can diminish the flow of blood and Qi through the area. This may be seen in a reduction of function or as a site of weakness giving rise to subsequent repetitive local injuries perpetuating a vicious cycle of decline.

By improving the flow of Qi, acupuncture and cupping may-

* Increase local perfusion of blood and elimination of toxins.

* Assist the natural healing process, reducing healing time.

* Reduce the appearance and effects of scars and adhesions.

* Help prevent repeat injuries.

* Reducing inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors

To see olympic gold medal winner Rebecca Adlington OBE, talk about how Acupuncture helped her go to

Chronic Pain

Bad posture, stress and emotional turmoil have an equally detrimental effect on the Qi dynamic even though it may not be immediately apparent. Clients often say that an episode of back pain “just happened” after an innocuous activity and then go on mention the long hours at work, a bereavement or the stress that they are experiencing.

Although acute pain is uncomfortable and inconvenient, chronic pain experienced in conditions such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, neck or lower back pain can have far reaching ramifications, including-

* Pharmaceutical dependence

* Loss of earnings

* Social Isolation, which in turn can lead to depression

Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in cases of osteoarthritis of the knee as well as neck and lower back pain.

Migraine and Headaches

Migraine is a primary headache disorder manifesting as recurring attacks, usually lasting between 4 to 72 hours and involving pain of moderate to severe intensity. The headaches are typically one-sided, pulsing of moderate or severe intensity aggravated by routine activity. These can be debilitating, requiring bed rest until the episode has passed. Sufferers may also experience auras, photophobia, phonophobia, nausea and vomiting. Several drugs, such as beta-blockers, amitriptyline or sodium valproate, are used in the prophylaxis of migraine in an attempt to reduce attack frequency, but all these drugs are associated with adverse effects.

Acupuncture is recommended by NICE for management of migraines and tension headaches and may-

* Reduce pharmaceutical use and dependency.

* Lower frequency and intensity of attacks.

* Provide pain relief by stimulating nerves changing the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord.

* Promoting a feeling of well-being and relaxation.

Our acupuncture team are at The Perrymount Clinic 6 days a week. For more information, please call 01444 410944 or to book online, please click HERE