Frequently Asked Questions
Here we answer some Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is one therapy which comes under the umbrella of “Oriental Medicine.”It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific locations on the body in order to stimulate “Qi” (energy) and treat many conditions. For more information on what acupuncture can treat, have a look at the World Health Organization’s website. This will give you an overview of the disease categories for which acupuncture has been demonstrated to benefit. Also look at the British Acupuncture Council website.
Chinese Herbal Medicine in another therapy which comes under the umbrella of “Oriental Medicine”. It has been practiced for at least 25 centuries and has a written history which still informs and inspires practitioners today.
Herbal Medicine must never be self prescribed. Practitioners today have many years of study to enable them to safely administer herbal prescriptions and are able to do this through careful and meticulous identification of disease pattern. Herbs can safely treat many different conditions and for a fuller overview of these please refer to the RCHM website.
There are a few groups of people who Chinese Medicine might not be suitable for. This might include medical reasons, complex pharmacological issues, or perhaps issues around consent. For others it is really a case of finding a practitioner you feel comfortable and confident with and undertaking a consultation to see if your health issues can be addressed through Chinese Medicine and/or acupuncture. You will know if it is “right” for you if you respond favourably to the treatments within a reasonable time frame suggested by your practitioner.
I would prefer that Doctors are kept fully informed as to all treatments being taken including TCM and self prescribed medications.
This is decided on a case by case basis and will be discussed fully at the initial consultation with frequent reviews as treatment progresses. Some conditions respond quickly and require very few treatments; more chronic conditions may require more treatments over a longer time frame. Many of my clients come infrequently, but regularly for prophylactic or well being treatments.
This varies depending on the nature of the medication. Herbal Medicines will most commonly be given in concentrated forms i.e. powders but may also be given as raw herbs which can be made into an infusion. (A full information sheet will be given for each treatment prescribed).
I would never recommend anyone to stop taking any medication prescribed for them without first consulting and getting the agreement of the prescribing Doctor.
Individual’s experience of needling varies greatly. It is important that the needling sensation is felt by the individual and that the information is fed back in order to know that the treatment has been delivered effectively. Some people describe the sensation as a “dull ache” or a “small sting”. My clients sometimes report the sensation as a tiny electrical charge and sometimes they will feel sensation in a different part of the body to where the needle is actually sited. It has not been my experience that any client feels an intolerable sensation. In fact, I find that clients quickly learn what the correct needling sensation should be and are able to give this feedback which ultimately improves the treatment experience.
Both acupuncture and herbal medicine are considered safe forms of treatment if administered by a licensed and registered practitioner. The NHS concurs that acupuncture is a safe treatment when practiced by a qualified practitioner and indeed many NHS trusts offer acupuncture as part of some treatment strategies. To practice either of these disciplines a legal framework exists to protect the consumer and this involves the practitioner adhering to a code of practice layed out by the regulatory bodies involved. ( This includes insurance)
As with any system of medicine side effects may be experienced , but with Chinese Medicine these are usually mild and self limiting. Initial consultation with myself always includes a discussion about what you might experience following treatments.
Yes! Like any other healthcare professional, I take an interest in all aspects of my patient’s health and the impact that certain lifestyle choices may be having on their health. For example: smoking, alcohol intake, exercise and diet.
Whilst I am not a nutritionist, Chinese Medicine has a long history of observing dietary impact on health. To this end, I may suggest certain adjustments to your diet which reflects patterns that are related to specific conditions.
During the consultation and follow up treatments lifestyle issues will almost certainly be touched upon.
Yes absolutely! The codes of practice set out by The British Acupuncture Council, my Professional Body, requires me to adhere to the principles of confidentiality.