Acupuncture, a healing art in which thin needles are inserted into the body to stimulate and direct the flow of energy (qi), originated in China and has been practiced for more than 2000 years. It was considered a primary medical skill in ancient China and has gained in popularity in Western countries in the last few decades. In the US alone more than 10 million acupuncture treatments are administered annually. Its rise in popularity may be due to its effectiveness for pain relief and to the fact that scientific studies have begun to prove its efficacy. In the UK an estimated 4 million sessions are performed annually: a considerable contribution to the healthcare of the UK!
Acupuncture has helped many people physically and mentally to get through the difficulties of the pandemic period. In January 2021, a landmark change was made – re-classification of all professional acupuncture practitioners in the UK, upgrading the categorisation of acupuncturists from Health Associate 3219 to Healthcare Professional 2220 – the level of Osteopaths and Physiotherapists. Now all professional acupuncturists in the UK belong in the category of Healthcare Professionals, allowing us to provide our acupuncture services to the public during lockdown periods.
This acknowledgement of acupuncture’s effectiveness and its place within UK healthcare provides people with more options to help them achieve better health.
How can acupuncture help you? Acupuncture is absolutely amazing. It can help many aspects of your health and allows you to feel good on a holistic level. Below are some of the common reasons for acupuncture treatments.
- Pain relief. Chronic pain is a common condition. Pain can be anywhere in the body, can be very disturbing, and can significantly impact quality of life. Acupuncture is well known for its pain relief effect. It can help many pain conditions including low back, neck, shoulder, and knee pain, as well as headaches and migraine. Acupuncture may relieve pain effectively by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals. If you suffer from chronic pain, you are likely to benefit from acupuncture treatment.
- Anxiety, stress and depression. Anxiety, stress and depression are the three most common psychological complaints treated by acupuncturists. Acupuncture can help by balancing brain chemicals such as serotonin, a brain chemical involved with mood, releasing endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, and reducing the level of stress hormones such as cortisol.
- Fertility. Due to a variety of factors including delayed childbearing and environmental changes, one in seven couples have difficulty in conceiving in the UK. Many couples with fertility problems seek help from acupuncture: a US survey showed that over an 18 month observation period, one in five infertile couples tried acupuncture. In the UK acupuncture treatment for infertility has increased fivefold over the last ten years. Acupuncture can help by reducing stress and inflammation, improving blood circulation and rebalancing hormones, resulting in both improved egg quality and uterine receptivity.
- Anti-aging. Aging is the process of becoming older, and it causes the facial skin to become wrinkled, loose, dry and sagging. Acupuncture reduces stress, improves blood circulation, promotes the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, and increases water retention, restoring skin elasticity and helping the skin to repair itself. Wrinkles are reduced, and skin is glowing and moisturised, restoring a youthful look.
Interested in acupuncture for health + wellbeing? Maggie is an acupuncture specialist who has practised in London for many years. She supports clients with physical issues and emotional wellbeing as well as the cosmetic aspect. She specialises in pain, stress and anxiety release, fertility, facial rejuvenation acupuncture and overall energy boosting.
To book an acupuncture treatment with Maggie click here.
Jason Jishun Hao et al Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Jul; 3(4): 6–8.
A K Hopton et al https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000456