What is acupuncture ? Acupuncture is a system of medicine that has been used in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. It is based on the idea that energy – called Qi – flows around the body, following specific pathways or meridians. Qi needs to flow in a balanced way around the meridians for us to maintain good emotional and physical health. what will happen in my treatment ? Coming for treatment is an opportunity to discuss your overall well-being and any specific concerns you have. On your first visit I ask about your medical history and current state of health. I also ask about your general diet, digestion, sleep and emotional state. This provides       information that helps with diagnosis and treatment planning. Do I have to believe in it and is it safe? Acupuncture works whether you believe in the concept of Qi or not  –  which is why animals and children also respond to treatment.          it is quite safe     The procedures have been approved by the Department of Health. I only use disposable needles, which are new for each patient. The World Health Organisation lists more than 40 conditions that have been shown to respond to acupuncture by research studies. Patients receiving treatment are eligible to donate blood through the National Blood Service. Very fine needles are inserted just below the skin. Sometimes these will be withdrawn after a couple of seconds, and at others are left in for up to 20 minutes. Most people feel an ache or sharp tingle when the needle goes in, and later experience a deep sense of relaxation and calm. Sometimes I burn a herb called moxa, which warms the meridian and encourages the Qi to flow more smoothly. How does it work? Acupuncture uses needles to improve the flow of energy, called Qi , through our body. The flow of Qi is affected by emotional or physical trauma – it can be blocked, move too slowly or move too quickly. In acupuncture, fine needles are inserted beneath the skin to release any blockages or to moderate the flow of Qi. When the Qi flows more smoothly, our symptoms improve and we start to feel better. Who has acupuncture? I have treated children and adults of all ages – from nine to ninety. People come for many different reasons: they may have a specific     condition or symptoms, they may be struggling with an emotional issue or general lack of clarity, or they may simply not feel quite themselves and need help in restoring their natural vitality and well-being.  How often do I need treatment? The number of treatments each person needs depends on the individual and their specific condition. I usually suggest a course of four to six sessions, starting weekly and then progressing to longer periods between treatments as a person improves. Some people come once or twice only and benefit; others come over a period of months if improvement is slower. Many people like to continue with occasional       treatments to maintain well-being. I discuss the treatment plan with you, and review it at regular intervals.