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A person receiving acupuncture
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Lorraine Langridge MBACP(accred reg) PGDipCouns(nhs) PGDipSupervision(nhs) Lic.Ac MTAS

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of healing known to man. It originated in China nearly 5,000 years ago. The patient is treated as a whole. This means the physical body; the mind and the spirit are one, a unity which has its own unique relationship with its environment. The practitioner seeks the cause of the disease. The symptom is a distress signal; the body mind or spirit saying something is wrong. Once the underlying cause is identified and corrected, the symptoms will subside. As the cause of disease is unique to each individual, no two patients are treated in the same way. These aims were first written down in a book called the “Nei Ching – The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine” about 200 BC. This book sets out the theory of which the whole of acupuncture is based. This is the “Meridian Theory” concerning the flow of life energy (called Ch’i) through the body. Acupuncture assists nature by influencing this energy to return to its natural flow and balance in a person.

How does it work?

The Ch'i energy controls the working of the main organs in the body. It circulates from one organ to another along pathways or "meridians".

There are 12 main meridians each feeding one of the main organs of the body. The energy flowing in the meridians can be assessed by the practitioner feeling the 12 corresponding pulses located on the wrists. There are other signs the practitioner will be looking for such as the patients colour, sound, odour and emotion. In illness, the energy is out of balance, not flowing freely. The pain, or symptom, is a distress signal telling us of this imbalance, be it due to a physical, mental or spiritual cause.

Acupuncture corrects this imbalance by controlling the Chi’s energy at special points along the meridians. This is done by inserting fine needles into the skin at these special points. Needles may be immediately removed or left in place for a while. Often a small cone of Chinese herb may be placed on the acupuncture point and warmed. Often this moxibustion treatment is used as well as needling.

What does treatment involve?

The initial consultation involves taking the patient’s medical and personal history. All aspects of the patient’s illness will be discussed as well as a brief physical examination involving blood pressure reading, feeling body temperature, skin and muscle tone, condition of hair and nails, joint movement and bone structure.

Treatment usually lasts up to an hour with the patient generally lying down totally relaxed.

How many treatments are needed?

This varies considerably from person to person. Much depends on the severity of the illness and how long the patient has suffered from it. Many other factors such as drugs and lifestyle can affect speed of progress.

How frequent are the treatments?

This is also varied. On average, treatments are given weekly until improvement is seen then gradually reduced to fortnightly, monthly, etc.

Can acupuncture be used in pregnancy?

YES. It is perfectly safe and highly beneficial, helping to promote a healthy pregnancy. It can help with morning sickness, depression, tiredness, heartburn, backache and so on. After delivery, acupuncture can assist the mother to recover well from the birth.

What illnesses can acupuncture help?

The following is a list of commonly treated conditions helped by acupuncture: angina, high blood pressure, poor circulation, asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, colitis, IBS, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, cystitis, impotence, infertility, menstrual problems. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, headaches, migraines, MS, neuralgia, rheumatism, sports injuries, strokes, tinnitus, colds, food poisoning, sinusitis, ear infections, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, addictions such as smoking and alcohol.


Initial consultation and treatment
Initial consultation and treatment