Acupuncture – questions answered by Crispin Gordon
What conditions respond to acupuncture?
Acupuncture can be employed to treat conditions of a physical, emotional and psychological nature and it is particularly good at helping sufferers of pain, be it physical or emotional. It is recognised by the NHS as an effective means of tackling back pain while it is widely used as a way of addressing headaches, sports injuries, depression and infertility.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The size of the needles employed in acupuncture are equivalent to a human hair and thus provoke barely any sensation when inserted. One might feel some sensation at the moment the needle makes contact with the acupuncture points that lie under the surface of the skin, but this sensation is akin to a dull ache and lasts for less than a second.
I hate needles, is there an alternative?
Some people are traumatised by even the sight of needles and are therefore unable to receive acupuncture. In such cases I would use a style of massage called shiatsu which works on the same principles as acupuncture but does not involve any needles.
How long does a session last?
A session typically lasts for an hour. The first session however would last closer to 90 minutes, as a number of questions need to be asked in order to achieve an accurate and conclusive diagnosis.
Generally, how many sessions are usual?
This is a tricky one to answer as it is nigh on impossible to predict accurately how long healing is going to take but the rule of thumb is that if the condition presented is new, the quicker the healing process is going to be. Thus if someone comes to me with a brand new injury, the number of sessions required is likely to be less than half a dozen, while if someone wants to address something that has been present for years, I would expect the sessions required to be closer to a dozen.
Are there any contraindications?
I would not be comfortable treating a haemophiliac as acupuncture might injure a sufferer of this condition. The only other condition that it is important for me to be aware of is early pregnancy as a handful of points are contra-indicated in the first six months of pregnancy and other points need to be selected.
What happens at your first appointment?
When someone comes for their first appointment I begin by asking the patient about the nature of their main complaint and then go on to ask questions to establish the state of their overall health. Following this I take the pulse as well as look at the tongue in order to arrive at a diagnosis which would enable me to commence treatment.
About Crispin Gordon
My interest in oriental medicine was sparked while teaching English in Japan in my early twenties. On my return to the UK, I set about studying shiatsu massage which opened my eyes to the power and effectiveness of oriental medicine. From there, learning acupuncture was a natural progression and today I use shiatsu and acupuncture in both private practice and the NHS to treat many people with a wide array of conditions.
For more information visit my website or call 07930 172592.