What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient complex medical system which has been used to treat a wide range of disorders, improve well-being and prevent disease for thousands of years. It is the largest drug-free health care system in the world, and is recognised and approved by the World Health Organisation. Acupunture is one of the tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine where needles are inserted into special points on the body called Acupunture Points where the flow of Qi (or life force energy) can be manipulated. Traditional Chinese Medicine theory uses the concept of Qi to describe our life force and also the idea of when the Qi is blocked, potential illness can arise.
What is the treatment like?
The needles are very fine - the thickness of a few strands of hair. There is usually no pain and only a sensation is momentarily felt called 'De Chi' or 'needling sensation'. This can be a tingling, warm or numb feeling around the location of the needles.
How does it work?
We do not know the exact mechanism but studies have shown that ther are changes in neurotransmitters in the brain, hormonal changes, immune responses and other biochemical responses when the needles are applied to acupuncture points. Some studies have also shown that there is a link between stimulation of acupuncture points and the transmission of messages in the central nervous system in the spine to the brain releasing pain, reducing endorphins, serotonin - described as the happy hormone, and neurophysiological responses that improve circulation, immune response and control nausea. This action may explain why pain relief can be so dramatic for many people after only one treatment, and also the feeling of relaxation that often follows. Many people experience a very profound release of tension after their first treatment and report back that they slept very soundly for the first time in ages!
What to expect?
On your first visit to an Acupuncturist, a detailed assessment is carried out. Past and current medical history, family, lifestyle, diet and emotional factors are all a part of the evaluation. The practitioner is trained to take into account all aspects of the person on a physical, psychological and emotional level, so each diagnosis and subsequent treatment is designed specifically for that person. The final two aspects of the consultation are Tongue Diagnosis and Pulse Quality.
The entire treatment is safeguarded by total confidentiality.
Acupuncture points may be stimulated using other methods, including moxibustion, cupping, laser therapy, electro-stimuation and massage in order to re-establish the flow of Qi. Acupuncture can be effective for a great many medical problems and disorders, for example
Muscle, Bone and Nerve Pain and Diseases: Sprains/Strains, Back Pain, Leg Pain, Foot
Pain, Stiff Shoulers and Neck Lumbago, Sciatica Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
and Painful Joints TMJ, Headaches and Migraines, Rheumatism, Arthritis, Facial Paralysis,
Obstetrics and Gynecology: Menstral Pain and Cramping, PMS, Menopause, Infertility, Fetal
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels: Angina, High Blood Pressure
Obseity, Drug addiction, Smoking, Headaches, Migraines
Digestive Disorders: Indegestian, Stomach Ulcers. Gall Stones, Diarrhea, Constipation,
Nausea and Vomiting and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Diseases of the respiratory system: Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Sinusitis
Diseases of the nervous system: Stroke, Neuralgia, Stress, Anxiety, Depression,
How many treatments and how often?
Treatments are usually carried out once or twice a week depending on the severity of symptoms. Response is individual and depends on how long you have beensuffering from the condition. Most people respond favourably after one or two treatments or may require several treatments over an extended period in order to reach their health goal. Some of my long term paients have realised the benefit of regular appointments once a month which allows them to keep on top of any underlying problems and maintain their good health free from stress and pain. The practitioner will discuss the treatment programme most suitable for you, on your first visit.
How quickly will I notice a difference?
This varies from person to person; a lot of people notice a difference after the first treatment, but it may take three or four treatments before a real improvement is noticed, especially if you have been ill for a long time.
There could also be other reasons why you are not responding. These might be related to any medication that you are taking, or something in your environment which you cannot avoid. Another reason may be that you are not following the full advice about changes in your lifestyle, diet or exercise regime. It is important to understand that your treatment does not just involve acupuncture, but also changes that you are asked to make in your daily routine.
Most people find that Acupuncture is a very pleasant experience and does not cause them any problems. Hoever it is a very powerful form of treatment which goes to the source of the problem. If the problem is one of a long standing illness then there will be many blockages in the meridians. If you imagine a blocked pipe which you then try to unblock, sometimes it is difficult to push out the blockage, then suddenly the pipe become clear and the turbid water rushes out. This type of reaction in a person may be described as a 'healing crisis' which can prouce some temporary unpleasant effects. Usually this is a temporary feeling and does not happen to everyone, but it is something to consider when coming for Acupuncture. It is always wise to contact your acupuncturist to discuss any unusal symptoms.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are entirely compatible with Western Medicine and can be used as a complementry therapy. It an also enhance the theraputic effect of other holistic therapies for example, massage, physical therapy and fertility care.
Claire Callery is our Acupuncturist at The Gatelodge. She has been a holistic therapist for over twenty years, and an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner since 2004.
Claire has extensive education, experience and knowledge of ancient medicine, holistic healing practices, relaxation techniques and mind-body-spirit awareness. She is passionate about the body's own natural healing capacity given the correct environment, and with over 20 years experience working in a wide spectrum of holistic therapies, she brings a variety of skills, experience and knowledge to her practice.
She uses an advanced acupuncture system called the Distal Acupuncture Balance Method for acute and chronic pain conditions, which produces instant pain relief within minutes of needle insertion and faster recovery time.
To make an appointment with Claire, contact her on
mobile:+353 838 855 294
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org