The Bridgeways clinic blog enables us to publish supplementary information about what we can do for you and how we do it. It also contains details about lifestyle and dietary advice.
Chinese medicine involves several therapeutic methods. Acupuncture is one of these and herbs is another. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the energy channels of the body. Herbs involve the ingestion of tinctures, powders and decoctions of plant materials. Both use the underlying theory of Chinese medicine to make a diagnosis and both are designed to rebalance energy and thereby restore health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the term used by the Chinese to cover the synthesis of Chinese medicine created after the cultural revolution. Under Communism, the more spiritual aspects of Chinese medicine were not emphasised.
A brief history of Chinese medicine is described on the Bridgeways clinic blog.
Traditional acupuncture is a holistic medicine, and therefore aims to treat the whole person rather than a condition in the Western sense. For example, two patients diagnosed with a "tension-type headache" by Western medicine may well be treated with different acupuncture points, depending on their overall pattern of signs and symptoms.
Disease or pain of any kind is seen as a lack of balance in Chinese medicine, and by regulating the organs and systems of the body, acupuncture aims to restore that balance. In this way, theoretically speaking, almost anybody can benefit from acupuncture. And because we aim to treat the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms, it can often help to resolve other niggling problems and thereby enhance your overall feeling of well-being.
There is much debate among researchers about what Western conditions acupuncture is most effective at treating. Good acupuncture studies are very difficult to design using methods more commonly found in Western medicine, not least because of the fundamental differences between Western and Chinese medicine diagnosis, and the fact that by its very nature every treatment plan in Chinese medicine is unique to the individual patient. Progress is slowly being made in this area however, and the evidence base for acupuncture is growing all the time.
If you would like to understand whether acupuncture or any of our other therapies can help you, then the best advice is for you to give us a call on 01296 630945 so that we can discuss your healthcare needs and arrange if appropriate for you to visit us.
Patients will find that some of the most informed research into the effectiveness of acupuncture can be accessed from:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report in 2003 that provides a review and analysis of controlled clinical trials of acupuncture therapy. The full list of treatable conditions can be viewed in the WHO report at their website. They divide the diseases and disorders that they say can be treated with acupuncture into 4 categories:
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed. These include:
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult. These include:
Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment.
Preparation For Your Visit
The duration of each treatment or class will vary but indicative times are given below. You will be treated in either a comfortable chair or lying on a couch. You are advised to wear suitable clothing, taking into account that the treatment may involve you having to remove items of clothing. It is advisable to avoid a large meal before any of our treatments or classes.
The aim of an acupuncture treatment is to restore the harmony between the 2 aspects of Qi: Yin and Yang. Apart from its pain relieving and relaxing effects, an acupuncture treatment enables the body’s self-healing mechanism to work more effectively by restoring the balance of the energy system. Many people come with a specific symptom or condition but the effect of good acupuncture is to do more than simply alleviate symptoms. The treatment will focus on you the patient rather than the disease. Consequently, patients also feel better in a general way, for example more energy and vitality, improved appetite, greater confidence or better sleep.
The aim of the diagnosis is to determine the nature of the disharmony in the body. By careful questioning and observation, the state of the meridians can be assessed. The benefits of any other Chinese medicine techniques will also be assessed. Questions you will be asked will include how your body is functioning, for example how well you sleep, your appetite, any digestive problems etc. Your wrist pulse will be taken and your tongue will be looked at. Pulse and tongue diagnosis are two special diagnostic techniques unique to oriental medicine.
Your initial visit will last between 1½ and 2 hours during which time a comprehensive case history will be taken. Your treatment plan will be devised and the location of the points needed on your body will be confirmed. Acupuncture needles are so fine that there is often no discomfort when they are inserted, but a slight tingle, known as needle sensation, may be experienced. The needles are either withdrawn immediately or left in for up to 20 minutes, occasionally longer. During this time you may have a pleasant feeling of relaxation and there may be some heaviness of your limbs. Sometimes it is also beneficial to apply warmth to the point using a herb called moxa, or a mild electrical current.
Subsequent visits will typically last about 45 minutes. Generally you will come weekly to begin with and as you improve you will come less frequently.
Fees for our treatments are:
Fees for our classes are:
Gift vouchers are available for all of our treatments.
Concessions for traditional acupuncture treatments are available - please call us on 07912 344899 to discuss.
Payments for treatments can be made currently with cash, cheques or PayPal. PayPal now also accepts payments by debit and credit cards. PayPal payments must be made in advance of an appointment. Debit and credit card payments from the clinic may be considered for the future.
Cancellation Policy: A full 24-hours notice is required for a cancellation. We reserve the right to charge the full fee for a missed appointment or shorter notice of cancellation.