Many people put up with pain when they don’t need to. Acupuncture is an evidence based therapy shown to help reduce pain and swelling, increase blood flow to promote recovery and to help restore movement at the site of injury. Despite traditional acupuncture’s widely recognised health benefits a recent survey of 2000 people suggested that nearly three quarters of people (73%) have never tried traditional acupuncture; many saying they would be too scared to try it because of the needles.
Acupuncture is not only good for relieving pain, it brings with it a whole host of benefits from improved sleep, a better digestive system, a stronger immune system and increased emotional resilience. These benefits are hardly surprising considering that acupuncture was used in ancient China to keep people well; a traditional doctor would be paid to keep the workforce healthy and punished when they became sick. Even a healthy person would benefit from a few acupuncture treatments per year to help their system to stay in balance. For systemic changes, the effects of acupuncture are accumulative, if someones system has been out of kilter for a long time, a single acupuncture treatment is unlikely to resolve everything; a more effective approach would be a course of weekly acupuncture treatments followed by occasional treatments at longer intervals.
Most people coming for acupuncture for the first time are a little nervous even if they don’t say so. I make sure they know a bit more about the acupuncture treatment process, that they understand the needles are single-use, sterile and extremely fine. An acupuncture needle is not like a needle used for taking blood, an acupuncture needle is almost as fine as a bristle and quite flexible. Almost without exception a new patient will comment that the needles are not painful on insertion though occasionally they may feel a sensation like a mild electric current when a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point. The sensation goes as soon as it arrives and should settle down in a second or two and I am present throughout the treatment, to make sure they are comfortable throughout. At the end of the treatment the needles are removed, this is also generally painless; I am often asked whether the needles are still in and, almost without exception, patients are astounded about how relaxed they feel after treatment.