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Claire Hollobon BSC (Hons) TCM: Ac. BAcC 
The practical results offered by Acupuncture benefit a wide range of people, making it worth considering as a treatment in the first instance, rather than as a last resort. The strength of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lies in its ability to read the body through the tongue, pulse and other methods of palpation.
What is qi?
Health is dependent on the smooth and constant movement of qi. Qi is the body’s natural energy. Qi travels through the body along channels or pathways known as meridians.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one branch of treatment of TCM. It involves the insertion of needles into the skin at specific points along the meridians, in order to stimulate and restore the natural movement of qi . Other methods stimulate acupuncture points with or without the insertion of needles, these include moxibustion, tuina massage, cupping, electro-acupuncture, ear acupuncture and ear seeds.
What does acupuncture feel like? Acupuncture needles are of hair like thinness. Insertion of the needle itself goes unnoticed or feels like a small pinch. After needle insertion, sensations such as tingling, heaviness, warmth, soreness and pressure are not only common but desirable because this indicates that the qi is present and being stimulated.
How will I feel after treatment?
Response to treatment is highly individual. A sense of well being and relaxation is usual. It is as normal to experience the desire to continue resting, as it is to feel immediately animated, though sometimes this sense of invigoration is delayed until the days following treatment.
Is acupuncture safe?
Needles are sterile and disposable and only ever used once. All members of the British Acupuncture Council observe a Code of Practice which lays down stringent standards of hygiene. These procedures have been approved by the Department of Health and provide protection against the transmission of infectious diseases.
What will happen during an acupuncture session?
An initial consultation usually takes about ¾ hour. You will be asked questions about your presenting complaint, as well as past medical conditions, your lifestyle, living environment, thoughts and emotions. The practitioner will observe the patient’s tongue and take their pulse. Practitioner’s of TCM palpate nine pulses on each wrist, which give an indication of the state of a patient’s qi, blood, yin and yang.
At the end of this consultation, the practitioner will give the patient some indication of how often they will need treatment and over what time period. The patient might be treated during this first session depending on the condition.
During treatment a patient will be offered dietary, lifestyle and self-help advice.
How often do I have to have acupuncture?
Duration and frequency of treatment varies since each person is unique. Generally after 2- 10 treatments there will be recovery from the main complaint or a generalised sense of improvement.
The potential of acupuncture is maximised by frequency continuity and perseverance. Simple ailments such as the common cold, tension headache, strains and sprains when treated in their early stages can be resolved in one to five treatments. More chronic conditions such as, polycystic ovaries or asthma may require treatment over 6 months to two years.
Do I have to understand and believe in acupuncture for it to work?
Based on animal research it appears that the placebo effect or suggestibility is not the determining factor. Acupuncture works in spite of the patient’s expectation or beliefs.


Lack of energy
Skin conditions
IVF/IUI support
Poor memory
Period pain
Digestive problems
Blood pressure
Post stroke