Our Traditional Acupuncture is delivered by our fully qualified, registered and regulated Acupuncturist Helen Devlin. To find out more about Helen, see our 'Meet the Team' page.
Acupuncture originated in China over 2,000 years ago. It is still used in China as a form of medicine in it’s own right, as well as being used along-side Western medicine. It has been adapted, researched and refined to form its current modern practice all over the world.
In Chinese medicine good health is said to be when the whole body and mind is in balance and the qi, or energy, is flowing smoothly throughout the body's pathways, known as meridians. It is when this smooth flow is disrupted and becomes unbalanced, erratic or blocked that ill health, pain and emotional upset occurs. The holistic approach of acupuncture is based on gathering information of all signs and symptoms, diet and lifestyle factors and emotional and personal features specific to the person, allowing an individualised diagnosis and care plan to be made. By inserting fine needles into specific points in the body, the qi can be stimulated and encourage the body to restore its own natural harmony and balance.
With a growing body of research into the effectiveness of acupuncture, the World Health Organisation (WHO) now has an extensive list of conditions where acupuncture is proven to be effective. These include:
- Malposition of fetus, correction of
- Neck pain
- Allergtic rhinitis including hay fever
- Biliary colic
- Dental pain
- Epigastraligia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis and gastrospasm
- Periarthritis of shoulder
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
- Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
- Dysmenorrhoea, primary
- Induction of labour
- Knee pain
- Facial pain
Extract from: Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. Chapter 3, Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture. Published by World Health Organization
Acupuncture has been found to be effective at supporting individuals with many other conditions and improving their wellbeing. Support using acupuncture is offered for the following conditions and many more.
- Musculoskeletal pain and stiffness as a result of working conditions, sports injury, pregnancy and childbirth, age related aches and pains, arthritis, new or ongoing problems and pain in any part of the body.
- Bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhoea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other bowel disorders.
- Emotional disorders such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia.
- Symptoms related to menopause such as hot flushes and irritability.
- Recurrent illness, frequent colds or flu, urine infections, thrush.
- Pregnancy support for things such as nausea, vomiting, back ache, indigestion, reflux, headaches, carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Pre-birth treatments to prepare women and their bodies for the birth
- Turning the breech baby and induction of labour, labour support.
- Postnatal support for healing post-birth, lactation, haemorrhoids
- Infertility support
This list does not cover everything, so please feel free to contact us for advice concerning your condition and whether or not acupuncture may be suitable for you. For detailed enquiries please ask to speak with Helen Oaten.
What happens in a treatment?
Before your treatment starts a discussion about your problem will take place. A detailed medical and personal history will be taken from you, the level of detail is important in making a complete Chinese medicine diagnosis. Other tools such as observation and pulse taking are also used to make a diagnosis. You will then lie down and needles will be placed in certain points on your body. Helen may gently rotate the needles to further stimulate the acupuncture point, in order to achieve the desired treatment outcome. The needles stay in place for up to 20 minutes, at which point they will be removed. You may be given advice to follow after the treatment. Other techniques such as cupping, tuina or moxibustion may also be used, but Helen will explain the plan fully before beginning. Nothing will be done without your informed consent.
The insertion of the needles is usually painless, but some people experience an initial sharp sensation that subsides quickly. Longer lasting sensations include tingling, heaviness, spreading and warmth. This is all normal and reassuring to Helen. If there is any discomfort Helen can adjust or remove the needle. During the treatments clients often feel relaxed and many fall asleep. Clients often leave feeling energised or grounded.
How many session will I need?
This is very dependant on the problem and the individual case. Some clients will feel better after a few treatments but others will need more. The majority of clients begin with a treatment once or twice a week for 6 weeks, at which point the plan is reassessed with the client. Some clients like to have regular acupuncture to maintain their health.
Many studies have been conducted into the safety of acupuncture, with the results showing very few adverse reactions. The needles are pre-packed, sterile and for single-use only.
Some people will experience mild dizziness or bruising, but such symptoms are usually short lasting.
Most commonly used acupuncture points are on the legs, arms, stomach and back so please wear something lose to allow easy access to these areas. It may be that a point is in a less accessible area, in which case you will be asked to remove an item of clothing and you can wear a gown.
What rules and standards does Helen work to?
Helen is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). This is a voluntary regulatory body. Any member must meet specified training standards and practice under a strict Code of Professional Conduct and Code of Safe Practice. Members are also required to undergo continued professional development and maintain a professional portfolio as evidence of ongoing learning. The BAcC provide full public liability insurance. Failure to meet to BAcC standards will result in removal of membership and insurance.
Other treatment methods
The herb Moxa (dried Mugwort) can be used when shaped into a cigar and hovered over the acupuncture point, or shaped into cones and placed on the needle handles. The warmth created when it is gently burned penetrates the acupuncture point to reinforce the action of the point. The moxa is not allowed to burn the skin.
Cupping is a form of treatment where specifically designed glass cups that create a vacuum are used to generate suction when placed onto the skin. They can be left static or can be slid across the surface of the skin. Most commonly used on the back, cupping can be particularly helpful for relieving pain and muscular tension.
Tuina is an ancient form of Chinese massage conducted over clothing. It uses the same points and works along the same meridians (channels of qi) of the body as acupuncture does, but pressure and manual techniques are used instead of needles. This is often a good option for people who prefer massage to needling.