Acupuncture helped him with various ailments at the time – including restless legs – but since then he has enjoyed it primarily for relaxation. Which has got to say something coming from a needle-phobe!
Acupuncture Awareness Week runs annually with the support of the British Acupuncture Council. This year it takes place from 3rd to 10th March, and the aim is to educate as many people as possible about one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. Most people turn to acupuncture as a last resort, having tried conventional medicine and found that symptoms don’t clear up. This is especially true in cases of chronic pain or unexplained infertility, when NHS doctors may actually suggest acupuncture as an option.
Common myths about acupuncture include my partner’s fear about the needles – research shows that 21% of the British public assume acupuncture needles will be as big as the kind used for an injection. In fact, they are hair thin and produce only a faint tingling when inserted lightly into the skin, if any sensation at all. Other myths concern acupuncture’s efficacy as a treatment though a quick scan on an internet search engine throws up a raft of research in a whole host of areas. Acupuncture is one of the most well-researched complementary therapies and has been practised for over 2,500 years in China and other parts of the Far East. Acupuncturists themselves require degree level qualifications to practise and in order to be registered and insured by the British Acupuncture Council, they must adhere to strict codes of safe practice and professional conduct.
The great thing about acupuncture is it can be used safely on all ages and even species – my dog had a round of acupuncture when she slipped a disc and it had her back on her feet within hours. It can also be used safely alongside conventional medicine – to treat extreme nausea during cancer treatment, for instance, or to complement drugs for depression or anxiety. In China, acupuncture is a routine part of hospital treatment alongside a western approach and both are given equal respect and credence.
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for a wide range of illnesses and symptoms, and many use it as a kind of monthly or seasonal maintenance or wellbeing check for the body with 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year by British Acupuncture Council members. If you’d like to find out more, Acupuncture Awareness Week offers the perfect opportunity with events, lectures and free sessions taking place during the week. To find out more, visit the Introducing Acupuncture website.