What to expect when you book an appointment:
Initial Assessment and 1st treatment
You will be asked questions about your main complaint, general health, medical history and lifestyle.
If you take medication it is helpful to bring along the names and dosages to check there are no contraindications to treatment.
Janet will feel your pulse, look at your tongue and may also feel some of the acupuncture points on your abdomen.
Along with a physical examination, this in depth history helps to make a Chinese medical diagnosis and help form a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
The aim of your individual assessment is to build a complete picture of you – to understand your health history, treatment goals and try to identify the root of any current health problems.
Janet is happy to answer your questions at any stage of the assessment and treatment, or simply let you relax.
Please allow about an hour for this first consultation.
Follow up treatments
Your subsequent appointments will last 45 minutes to an hour..
All procedures will be clearly explained and discussed with you at each session and your consent gained before progressing.
to ancient Chinese philosophy, our state of health is dependent on a
vital energy known as Qi, which flows through our bodies in meridians.
Imagine these meridians as rivers, flowing through the landscape of your
body, nourishing your tissues and organs. In a healthy, balanced state
your Qi should reach every part of your body.
Qi can easily become imbalanced due to factors such as an unhealthy
lifestyle, hereditary or environmental factors, and physical or
emotional trauma. If this happens, your Qi may become blocked or
deficient and will not be able to flow as freely. This is when illness
is likely to occur.
inserting very fine needles at specific points along the meridians,
acupuncturists aim to access the Qi and encourage it to start moving
again as it should, thus helping to restore a state of balance and
Western medical acupuncture
theory using acupuncture from a Western medical point of view helps to
relieve pain by affecting the 'pain gate' in the spinal chord, also
triggering release of endorphins- the bodies own natural pain killers.
Fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth
Problems with menstruation, whether due to PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, irregular cycles, PMT or hot flushes, can cause difficulties for many women and are all taken into consideration at your initial consultation.
Some women choose to have acupuncture throughout pregnancy and childbirth and it is becoming increasingly popular with couples dealing with problems of fertility or to support IVF treatment. If this is the reason you are seeking treatment you can be assured of space and time to discuss your problems and worries.
If your midwife has suggested you have treatment to turn a breech baby or an acupuncture labour induction – or this is something you have researched yourself – get in touch and Janet will be more than happy to chat with you. If it is appropriate for you to be treated arrangements can be made to see you as soon as possible.
Janet now offers a 4 week package from 36 weeks of pregnancy- helping to prepare the body for labour and reduce stress for 'mum to be'. This includes a 'free' Acupuncture induction if required.
There are also some simple acupressure points that can be taught to your birth partner for use during labour to provide some pain relief. Do check out Debra Betts' website for a brilliant downloadable booklet showing these points in more detail.
Alongside Acupuncture, other treatments may be included to help you, such as:
Moxibustion is the practice of burning a herb known as moxa (Artemis vulgaris) on acupuncture points until a pleasant warming sensation is felt by the patient. Moxa may be used alone or in combination with various acupuncture techniques. It is often used in the treatment of painful conditions or where the patient feels excessively cold.
Turning Breech Babies
Moxa treatment can also be used to help turn breech babies by using a moxa stick over a point on the little toe, please ask for further information.
Please take a look at www.moxafrica.org to see the amazing work being carried out in Africa to help people with TB using moxa.
Cupping is a technique that involves applying a vacuum (a glass/plastic cup with the air removed either by a pump or flame) to the skin and either leaving it in place for several minutes, or moving it around the affected body part providing a pleasant massage-like sensation. This draws blood to the area, nourishing the muscles and helping to relieve pain.
Cupping is also often used as an acute treatment to aid the immune system. This therapy does leave bruise like marks which usually disappear within 2-3 days.
Pictured: Fire cupping with glass cups
Gua Sha is another technique that can be useful in the treatment of pain. Literally translated, Gua means "to rub" and Sha means a "reddish, elevated millet-like skin rash".
A round-edged instrument is used to apply pressure to the skin in firm strokes over the site of pain, encouraging blood and Qi to move more freely. It is especially useful for treating pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
It is commonly used by oriental cultures to treat their families at home.
Like cupping, gua sha leaves a reddish marking on the skin after treatment which gradually fades over the course of a few days. The darkness of the red marks and the length of time they take to fade is indicative of the level of stagnation that has been moved.
It is believed that all of the acupuncture points found on the body are represented on the ear in a microsystem. Often these points become 'active' or sensitive when they need treating.
Access to the ear is easy and often I will use points both on the body and the ear in a treatment session. To maintain results a 'seed', usually a gold or silver pellet, will be left on the point for you to press in between treatments.
There are also specific protocol auricular treatments used to help with particular conditions:
Battlefield Acupuncture is a specific protocol treatment used to help reduce pain. It was developed by Colonel Dr Niemtzow for use by the American Air Force to achieve rapid pain relief for soldiers suffering injuries in combat.
It is now used to help resolve pain from acute sprains and strains especially of the back, neck, ankle, arm and leg. It has been found to be effective in the relief of migraine headaches and also post-operative pain.
American doctors use the technique out on the battlefield when narcotics are not desired. The protocol uses very small semi-permanent gold needles that are placed in specific points in the ear. The needles can remain in place for approximately 1-3 days and fall out naturally as the skin is replaced.
Pictured: Gold ASP needles being inserted in the ear
Detox (NADA) protocol uses 5 specific points in each ear and is used in detoxification programmes alongside counseling and other group therapies.
The protocol has been found to be useful in helping people who are detoxing from alcohol, drugs and other addictive substances such as tobacco by aiding relaxation and promoting a feeling of general well being.
Pictured: NADA protocol auricular detox