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FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions )

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine.

Acupuncture works to help maintain your body´s equilibrium. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of ´qi´, your body´s vital energy. For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons, qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in some symptoms of pain and illness or. In certain instances, traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.

Acupuncture treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feeling of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves.

Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world. In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them. Members of the CAHMN practice acupuncture based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,000 years. The CAHMN currently registers over 50 qualified Chinese practitionerswith both Chinese medicineand modern medicine education background.

Who has acupuncture?

Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.

What happens when I go for treatment?

The acupuncturist will use a number of different diagnostic methods to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, including taking a full medical history, reading your pulses, and looking at your tongue. Based on this information, the acupuncturist makes a diagnosis and puts together your personal treatment plan. Acupuncture points are selected according to your symptoms as well as your underlying energy pattern. The single-use sterile needles come in sealed packs: they should be opened in front of you and are safely disposed of after each treatment. Your practitioner may refer you to your GP or another healthcare professional if they consider it appropriate.

What does it feel like?

Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests. When the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling sensation or dull ache.

Is it safe?

The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ September 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. The needles used are single-use, sterile, and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.

Should my doctor know?

If you have been prescribed medication we recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. CAHMN register acupuncturists are trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and may refer you to your GP if they consider it appropriate.

How many sessions will I need?

Frequency and number of sessions depend on your individual condition. Your acupuncturist will normally ask to see you once or twice a week at first. Some change is usually felt within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient. Some people choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain good health.

What can it do for me?

Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or simply to improve their general sense of wellbeing.

Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a range of conditions. Remember that acupuncturists treat the person, not just the condition which they have, so each patient´s treatment plan will be different. However, you can always ask your practitioner about other patients´ experiences, to give you an idea of what to expect. Many people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.

In 2009 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that acupuncture should be made available on the NHS, as a cost-effective short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent non-specific lower back pain, and 2012 for headache.

What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is a system of medicine which uses various remedies derived from plants, flowers, trees, roots to harmonize imbalances in the body and treat illness. Often five or more Chinese herbs are made up to make one formula. Formulas are usually made into decocted teas or made into powders or pills to be ingested.

When prescribed by an ATCM certified herbal practitioner, Chinese herbal medicine is a safe, effective and natural way to treat a wide array of health-related conditions.

What is TCM?

TCM includes acupuncture, Tuina massage, Qigong, herbal remedies, herbal food and guidance on lifestyle. Acupuncture, Tuina and Qigong regulate Qi, or energy in the human body, to improve symptoms of certain conditions, as Qi imbalance can cause many diseases.Herbal remedies and herbal food use natural plants or natural food to regulate internal organ function and flow of Qi and blood, in order to help with many medical conditions, so general speaking TCM has no side effect. The basic TCM principles are based on the differetiation of Zheng and its relevant therapies, using the four diagnostic methods, seeing, smelling, asking and pulse feeling. TCM practitioners use these four methods to make the diagnosis and provide therapies for many different diseases.

What is the difference between TCM and western medicine?

Based on natural remedies, incorporating acupuncture and herbs, TCM works with the body´s own energies to combat illness, which aims to restore a person´s health, balance and harmony on all levels­physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Chinese Medicine different from western medicine in two major aspect : At first. It is holistic think. It considers all sides of individual condition , climate , season, geographic location and emotion factors to deliver a true systemic healthcare system. Chinese medicine seeks to combine treatment of the disorder (root )cause with treatment of its symptoms (manifestations).by treating the root any underlying condition may help or cure system will be support or amplify wherever possible .the aim of Chinese Medicine is to treat the disorder at all its levers and by doing so offer much more than palliate relief . Secondly ,Chinese Medicine diagnosis and treatment is base upon how a person rests to cause of disease and weaving all symptoms into a patten of how that interacts with his environment.so called BIAN ZHENG LUN ZHI.Chinese Medicine can treat conditions that do not necessarily fall into a particular disease category ,many people have controllable fatigue or apparently vague disorders which are undiagnosable with western medicine ,ChineseMedicine will be able to activate the innate healing ability of body and mind. From the Chinese medicine point of view prevention is always better than the cure.