The 12 Days of Acupuncture

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With Christmas looming ever larger I’ve found myself annoyingly humming the 12 Days of Christmas. So I got to thinking what would my 12 Days of Christmas look like.

I’m old enough to not really want or need material things, 5 gold rings or two turtle doves hold little allure. However, acupuncture, that’s something I’m passionate about. So what would the 12 Days of Christmas look like in my clinic? What are the 12 symptoms I’d most like to see? They’re the 12 symptoms I think I’ve had the most success with over the years and they are listed below:

  1. Migraine & Headache Recommended by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for treatment of tension headache and migraine. My treat-ment strategies vary, depending on where the headache develops and on its suspected cause; vascular, muscular, chemical or neurological.
  2. Tinnitus
    Acupuncture can be great for both tinnitus and vertigo. The chances of it working increase when the symptoms are unilateral (one-sided) and if there is a degree of muscular tension around the neck and jaw.
  3. Back pain
    There are numerous clinical trials singing the praises of acupuncture for back pain. It affects 1.1m people in the UK annually. It’s not surpris-ingly, the symptom I treat most frequently in the clinic.
  4. Anxiety/Stress
    Most patients are surprised at acupuncture’s general soporific effect. How can it be so relaxing to sit on a couch with needles in your body? To those patients it will prob-ably come as no surprise that I treat a lot of patients for manifestations of anxiety. From panic attacks to obsessive behaviour, acupuncture can put a brake on the sympathetic nervous system, reducing anxiety and enabling patients to make long-term behavioural changes.
  5. Knee pain
    Researchers at Plymouth University favoured acupuncture over surgery of osteoarthritis of the knee in a re-cent clinical trial. I like the knee as it’s a simple hinge joint. The simplicity of the joint and the surrounding muscles frequently means that treatment is simple.
  6. Menopausal Hot flushes and Night Sweats
    Whilst treatment for hot flushes is not as successful as for back pain, it’s such a game changer for patients that I put it down in my top 12.
  7. Xerostomia
    Another game changer. I’ve only treated 2 patients for this condition, but the impact on their lives has been so huge it had to go in my top 12. One of my first ever patients couldn’t produce saliva following chemotherapy on an oesophageal tumour. He couldn’t eat any solid food, yet after a few treatments he was able to go out for a meal with his daughter.
  1. Nausea
    Those bands you may have seen people wearing on ferry crossings on their wrists to reduce sea sickness have their origins in Chinese medicine. One of the main acupuncture points for nausea is on the wrists. It’s called pericardium 6 and is very effective when needled for reducing nausea and sickness, either in pregnancy or post chemotherapy.
  2. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    Acupuncture can reduce blood pressure. It’s thought to work by reducing inflammation and promoting release of vascular factor.
  3. Hay-fever
    Wrong time of year for this but acupuncture can be very successful in dealing with hay-fever and rhinitis. Typically 4 acupuncture sessions at the beginning of the hay-fever season are all that is needed to considerably reduce symptoms.
  4. Primary Urge Incontinence
    Any damage to the lower lumbar spine can potentially change bowel and bladder habits. That’s not to say that it is always the cause but it’s one cause that must be discounted prior to treatment.
  5. Insomnia
    Sleep is essential. During the deep state of non REM sleep the body strengthens the immune system, repairs and regenerates tissues, bone and muscle. Also the brain transfers memories from the hippocampus (responsible for storing short term memory) to the prefrontal cortex. Poor sleep equals compromised immunity, poor tissue repair and unreliable memory.The great thing about acupuncture is that its possible to find out relatively quickly if it works for any given condition. No reduction in symptoms within 4 sessions generally means either acupuncture doesn’t work or the wrong acupuncture points are being used. If you’d like to discuss this or any other symptoms please don’t hesitate to contact me: 07764 254881 or email:
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