Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington,
talks about acupuncture in this short video
How does it work and what can it do.
NICE Recommends Acupuncture
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture treatment for tension headaches in a report published in September 2012 (1). A course of up to 10 acupuncture sessions over five to eight weeks may be considered to help prevent chronic tension-type headaches.
The treatment of chronic headaches with acupuncture has featured in Chinese medical textbooks for over two millennia.
Acupuncturists are able to diagnose the different types of both problems and their causes. The diagnosis will take account of all aspects of your health and well-being. They can then apply the most effective treatment tailored specifically to each individual.
(1) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2012). Headaches: Diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults. Manchester: NICE.
The traditional medicine of China
Acupuncture is part of the traditional medicine of China. It draws on the wisdom of 2,000 years of accumulated knowledge and experience in treating human disease.
Acupuncture is practised across the world. In China it is mainstream medicine, an integral part of the national health service, used in clinics and hospitals throughout the country.
Acupuncture can be safely used to treat many different health problems, although it is best known for it's use in treating pain. Increasingly, research is showing how effective acupuncture can be.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the skin and underlying tissues for therapeutic effect.
Central to Chinese medicine is the idea of qi (‘chee’). Qi is the life-force or energy which is said to flow throughout your body along pathways on the surface of the body, called 'meridians'. By needling specific points along these pathways, we can influence the qi and harmonise this life force to stimulate your power of self healing.
What is illness?
According to Chinese medicine, in a healthy person the qi flows smoothly through the body. This ensures the normal functioning of the organs and tissues.
However, if this flow is disrupted or blocked then illness can occur. The flow of qi can be disturbed by climate and weather (for example, damp and cold), diet, stress, overwork, drugs, trauma, emotional and hereditary factors.
What is acupuncture used to treat in China?
The following conditions all feature in traditional Chinese medical textbooks. They are routinely treated with acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine hospitals and clinics in China today:
many painful conditions, including arthritis, rheumatism, joint and muscle pain and injuries;
back pain, dental pain and repetitive strain injury;
'frozen shoulder', 'tennis elbow', pain following shingles, trigeminal neuralgia;
asthma, chronic lung problems;
insomnia, depression and anxiety;
gynaecological, menstrual and menopausal problems;
male and female fertility problems;
digestive problems, including constipation and diarrhoea, and IBS;
hay fever and other allergies;
skin complaints, such as acne and eczema;
Traditionally, in China, acupuncture was also used to help to prevent illness reoccurring and promote good health.