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TO THE POINT

By Fiona Hedworth

I first had an acupuncture treatment over 25 years ago, and became completely fascinated by this system of medicine.

At this time there were only two colleges of acupuncture in the UK.

Acupuncture was seen as a “weird fringe medicine” in this country, so everyone on the course came through their own personal experience of it. So I began my three year training in 1982, at Leamington Spa.

I have been practicing from 5 Barrowby Gate, Grantham for 23 years now, and I am still learning! There are always interesting seminars to go to, and we have an ever increasing amount of high quality clinical books being published.

  Acupuncture first began over 5000 years ago, in the Stone Age! So the first needles were shards of stone, then later bone, bamboo, and then gold and silver.
Now, they are all stainless steel, and are more like a very fine wire than a needle.

So, this medicine has certainly withstood the test of time, as well as the scrutiny of masses of research.
However, how can you blame anybody for being a bit cynical when you see these tiny needles placed about half an inch into the skin, even I am still amazed by it!

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture affects the neurophysiology of the body, sparking off its own incredible healing capabilities.

Slowly the science behind this medicine is being discovered, and with over 10,000 clinical trials it is now widely accepted, and a limited, symptomatic form is used in over 80% of pain clinics.

 Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is however a cross between a science and an art, and this makes it a little more elusive, but at the same time more intriguing.

An experienced practitioner can gain a lot of information from the patient’s pulse and tongue. The reading of the radial pulse is a fascinating art and is useful in the diagnosis, as well as in assessing the effectiveness of the treatment. One of the secrets of the success of this treatment is the fact that every treatment is tailored precisely to the patient. So a real change should be felt within 3 to 5 treatments.

The total number of treatments a patient needs depends on their general health and how long they have been suffering.

As this treatment is aimed at the cause of the symptom, and not just the symptoms themselves, the effects should be long lasting. So it is a good choice for chronic problems, and complex conditions. Although enlightened patients may use acupuncture as a preventative medicine, it is a strong treatment for arthritis, sciatica, IBS, fertility, morning sickness, migraines, strokes, ME, MS, stress, and many others including cancer.

 I have even treated terminal patients wanting a better quality of life. Acupuncture can be used  alongside prescribed medication, and will support prescribed treatments, and surgery.

Every system of medicine has its limits and its possibilities. In Acupuncture we are limited by structural aspects. It can’t mend broken bones, it can’t fix a knee that is so bad it needs a replacement joint, and unfortunately it can’t put a needle in to make a tumour disappear.

 However, there is a lot it can do; it can control inflammation and pain [e.g. arthritis], it can help fertility and morning sickness, it can help to calm nerves [e.g. sciatica], it can help many disorders of the nervous system [e.g. MS, and strokes], it can help to regulate digestion, and it can help anxiety and stress, and it can improve the immune system and treat more conditions than you could imagine.