What is acupuncture all about?
Is acupuncture painful?
The short answer is, NO, but some discomfort is possible.
If you do not like needles, you are not alone. Nobody likes them. The point is not to like them, but to have an effective tratment.
Acupuncture needles are very thin, much thinner than those commonly used for injections. To give you a perspective, hair is about 0.12mm thick, while the standard acupuncture needles vary between 0.16mm and 0.25mm.
All people experience acupuncture differently. Some report feeling nothing, while others feel minimal discomfort at the moment the needles are inserted. The discomfort usually disappears once the needles are in. Most people describe acupuncture as being simultaneously very relaxing and energising.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is very safe when done by a well-trained, licensed practitioner. All needles are sterile and single-use. The risks of acupuncture are minimal and explained on the informed consent that you sign prior to treatment.
What can I expect during a treatment?
A treatment begins with an initial consultation. Please fill in the consultation form before your first appointment (to be downloaded and printed from here, or you can pick it up from the Clinic in Whaley Bridge) and ideally send me by email or bring in person at least 24h before the appointment. I can then better prepare for your first treatment. If this is not possible, please arrive 20-30min earlier to fill in the form before the appointment.
I will collect information about signs and symptoms. I will also look at your complexion, check your pulse and examine your tongue. Then I will form the diagnosis within the framework of Chinese Medicine. Then, needles are inserted into appropriate points in according to this diagnosis. The needles are retained between 10min and 40min depending on the problem.
The needles may produce some sensation, but generally not pain. Most clients feel very relaxed. Some fall asleep and wake up refreshed.
Visits generally last 40 minutes to one hour, but can oocassionally be longer. Initial appointment lasts up to 1.5h.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of sessions varies according to the condition as well as the person. Acute conditions may respond well with just 3 treatments, while chronic conditions may require a longer series of treatments.
Initial visits are scheduled daily (or every second day) for the first three times, then twice weekly and later once per week. I know many acupuncturists choose to see clients once per week, bu in the light of the current knowledge of neuroscience, this is not effective. Frequent visits in the beginning are important. Exceptions may happen and depend on the health concern.
Is there anything I should do before or after a treatment?
Be sure to have something to eat before your appointment to avoid feeling light headed. Have a meal or snack 1-3h before. No alcohol before the treatment, please.
It is best to wear comfortable, loosely fitting clothes as then you can roll up your sleeves or trousers. Many acupuncture points lie on legs and arms, so if only such points are needed, you will be able to stay in your clothes, given that they allow a free access. Depending on which area has to be needled you may be asked to take your trousers or top off. You may bring and wear shorts for your comfort if you want to.
What is Tui Na?
Tui Na (pronaunced “twey na”) is a massage developed through thousands of years. It has become an effective non-invasive medical treatment.
Tui Na massage is usually applied through clothing, using various stroking, pushing, rolling, lifting, stretching and grasping massage techniques. These are combined with acupressure and joint manipulation. This leads to a powerfully energising massage, liberating Bodya nd Mind from the old structure.
Tui Na is not only effective for various musculo-skeletal conditions, but also for internal problems such as headaches or migraines, anxiety and depression, digestive or circulatory problems, hormonal imbalance, stress and other related conditions.
Tui na works amazingly well for babies and children in all walks of life, as well as older people and those in reconvalescne. Tui na is promising for various disoreders such as anxiety, ADD/ADHD and spectrum of autism.
How many treatments will I need?
Tui na can be used as a one-off session to energise yourself. When used medically, acute conditions will usually respond well to 1-3 treatments, done every week. Chronic conditions will require weekly treaments for the first times, then bi-weekly sessions and then finlly once a month.
If you want to keep yourself in good health and prevent illness then tui na can be used once monthly.
What is cupping?
Cupping is a therapy where small glass or plastic cups are used as suction devices on the muscles. They are placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation (knots, stiff and temse areas) by drawing congested blood to the surface.
Cupping feels much like the opposite of the massage techniques of stroking and pushing. Instead of applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. Most people find it particularly relaxing. The tension is relieved fast.
Once placed, the cups are left in one place for about 10-15 minutes while the patient relaxes. If advisable, this is often combined with a cupping massage. Massage oil is applied to the skin so that the cups can be moved easily from one area to another.
Cupping causes the skin to change colour and appear bruised. While this discolouration may take a week to resolve, it is rarely painful.
To maximise benefits cupping is often used in conjunction with Tui na or acupuncture.
What is it cupping used for?
Cupping therapy is used to terat any problems where the muscles or tissues lack good oxygenations and the blood flow is impaired. Examples include:
- Injuries, poorly healing wounds,
- Back pain, neck pain
- Arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Gynecological disorders
- Eczema and acne
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Bronchial congestion caused by alergies and asthma
- Lung infections,. cold, nasal congestion
What are the side effects of cupping?
Cupping is fairly safe, as long as you go to a trained professional. But you could have these side effects in the area where the cups touch your skin such as mild discomfort, bruises and skin infection.
What is gua sha?
Gua sha is a massage that relies on repeated strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth edged tool. Skin is lubricated with massage oil and commonly ceramic Chinese soup spoon is used, jade or buffalo horn.
Gua sha is intended to address tissues and muscles that lack oxygen and nutrients, that is where the blood flow is impaired. Inflammationcan be the underlying cause of conditions associated with chronic pain. Gua sha on the skin’s surface is thought to help reduce inflammation, and promote healing.
Gua sha is usually performed on the back, buttocks, neck, arms, and legs.
What are the side effects of gua sha?
Gua sha is generally safe. It not supposed to be painful, but the scraping will often change the appearance of your skin. Because of the scraping, blood capillaries close the surface of the skin will break, which may result in sha that appears to look as bruising.Bruising usually disappears within a couple of days.
Avoid gua sha if you have had any surgery in the last six weeks.
If you have
please contact me
Chinese Medicine in High Peak:
- Whaley Bridge and Furness Vale
- Bugsworth and Chinley
- Chapel en le Frith
- Disley and New Mills
as well as in Stockport and Greater Manchester.