In The Know: Acupuncture
The incorporation of Acupuncture into our health and well-being has strongly been increasing over the last decade. Still, a lot of people are reluctant when first being introduced to this non-traditional practice. Acupuncture is essentially a method of sending a signal to the body to 'turn on' its self -healing or regulatory mechanisms. Here are some FAQs surrounding Acupuncture and answers to reassure you that Acupuncture is nothing but beneficial to your well-being.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is safe in the hands of a qualified and registered acupuncturist. At Health Oasis I follow a strict hygiene protocol and use single-use sterile needles to minimize any risk of infection.
Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture is not painful as the needles are extremely fine (as fine as a cat’s whiskers). When the needles are first inserted, you
will feel a tap rather than pain, this is followed by a momentary ache as you experience the arrival of Qi which is easily tolerable. Once the needles are in place you don't feel any discomfort and patients often fall asleep as it is such a relaxing therapy.
What are the side effects?
Occasionally you may experience a small bruise or bleed and if you have not eaten for several hours and are feeling stressed you may feel a little faint.
How does it work?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture is said to work by balancing the energies or (Qi) of the body; when out of balance it can result in pain, or dysfunction such as digestive, emotional or hormonal imbalance. Acupuncture acts to restore this balance. When studies have been carried out by western medicine, acupuncture has been shown to influence endorphins, affecting pain; neurotransmitters affecting mood and hormones such as insulin affecting blood sugar.
How long does it take?
An initial consultation takes 1 hour which allows for a full case history and includes an acupuncture session where possible. As a rule of thumb an acute condition will take around 5-6 sessions and a chronic condition will require about 10-12 sessions. Acupuncture works as a series of treatments, with an accumulative effect. You can’t have your sessions too close together but you can have them too far apart, so I ask patients to come twice a week initially for the first 1-2 weeks, then as long as your symptoms continue to stay stable or improve I will treat you once a week. Gradually as your symptoms resolve your treatments can become fortnightly then just once a month as a tune-up to prevent relapse.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my acupuncture session?
Yes, please ensure you don’t arrive hungry and have eaten an hour or two prior to your appointment. Following your session it is good practice to drink lots of water, especially if massage and/or cupping are also used. This helps to flush out waste products from the body.
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