How acupuncture works and what to expect during a treatment

TCM acupuncture works on the premise that for health and well being there must be balance. Numerous factors can affect this balance and interfere with a person’s ability to adapt and move with the flow of life, such as a person’s emotional state, hereditary factors, physical traumas or poor nutrition and infections. If imbalance occurs, the body’s energy (qi) which runs throughout channels (meridians) in the body becomes depleted or blocked and one may become more susceptible to ill health.

TCM acupuncture practitioners will therefore explore your complaint from the wider perspective of your life and tailor treatments to suit your individual needs. This is why TCM acupuncture is known as a holistic form of treatment; it revolves around you as a person and not just the symptoms you may be suffering. As well as asking you lots of questions during your consultation, the acupuncturist practitioner will also use their knowledge of TCM to form a diagnosis by taking your pulse and looking at your tongue. These are both important diagnostic measures in being able to pin-point any patterns of disharmony. In TCM the pulse offers an insight into what is going on energetically within you and the tongue acts as a “map” of the body since its shape and condition correspond to the wellness of meridians and organ systems. As a further aid of diagnosis, abdominal palpation may also sometimes be used to feel for tender spots or areas where there is a lack of muscle tone or tension. Once all of this information has been correlated and the nature of the problem taken into account, a unique combination of points will be formulated to treat you. Specific points will be needled along the meridians of your body to nourish and unblock areas where there is stagnation of qi. In TCM each organ has corresponding meridians of qi that run all over the body, therefore when acupuncture points are needled, the functioning of the meridian and correlating organ can be regulated. Extremely fine, single-use, pre-steralised disposable needles are used in line with the stringent standards of the BAcC. There may be mild discomfort during needling (usually a dull ache or tingling) but this is momentary. Ancillary treatments like cupping therapy, moxibustion, electro-acupuncture and ear acupuncture may also be used where required.

I tried acupuncture treatment because I was suffering from depression, anxiety and stress. Martine was very kind, made me feel comfortable and clearly explained the treatment. After a course of treatments I felt much better. I would definitely recommend her to anyone thinking of trying acupuncture for the first time.

Odair, Head Chef - London