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Acupuncture by Michelle Austin-Marriott

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a comprehensive system of healing which has been practised in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. Although often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses. Its focus is on improving the overall wellbeing of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.

According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy – known as Qi – moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin. Qi consists of equal and opposite qualities – Yin and Yang – and when these become unbalanced, illness may result. By inserting very fine needles into the channels of energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a number of factors. These include emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma.

The principal aim of acupuncture in treating the whole person is to recover the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.

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Who has acupuncture?
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. These might include anxiety states, arthritis, asthma, back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, digestive problems, hayfever, headaches, infertility, insomnia, low energy, menstrual problems, migraines, neck/shoulder problems, rheumatism, sciatica, sinusitis or visual disturbances.

Acupuncture is a safe treatment for all. It has also proved to be effective in pregnancy management and for menopausal support.

Some people may have acupuncture as a preventative measure to strengthen their constitution, or because they feel unwell in themselves without being “ill” in the Western sense. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine in the treatment of both acute and chronic disease. As with any therapy, the response to acupuncture can vary from one person to another.

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What does it feel like?
Most people’s experience of needles is of those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear no resemblance to these and are very fine. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache. During treatment, patients commonly experience a heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation.


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What are the benefits?
The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better digestion and improved sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall well being.

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What’s involved in a treatment?
I will ask you about your current symptoms and what treatment you have received so far, your medical history and lifestyle.
I may supplement the needle treatment with Moxa, a smouldering herb which is used to warm acupuncture points to encourage the body’s energy to flow smoothly. Electro-acupuncture is a method used to stimulate points.
Cupping or Gua Sha is an effective therapeutic technique which can be used alone, or in conjunction with needling to enhance the treatment of certain conditions, such as neck or back pain, shoulder tension or cold & flu symptoms.

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How often will I need treatment?
As each person is unique, the number of treatments required depends on the individual. Some change is usually felt after just a few treatments. Normally I recommend treatment once a week at first, although some conditions may need less frequent attention.
Sometimes the effects of the treatment are dramatic, and only one or two treatments are required. With other individuals, the effects are more subtle and they may need treatment over several months.

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Is it safe?
As a member of the British Acupuncture Council I observe a Code of Safe Practice, amongst others, which lays down stringent standards of hygiene and requires the use of sterile disposable needles.

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Michelle Austen-Marriott practices Acupuncture at the Haelan Clinic on Sundays from 9am - 7pm; on Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 9.15am to 2.45pm. Ad Hocs are available outside of these times, please ask Michelle.

To book an appointment please contact Michelle directly on 07966 030 077. Please note that 24 hours notice is required for cancellations or a fee may be charged.

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