Our Q&A Section – Dear Val...

We believe that knowledge is a powerful tool in your journey to well-being. In this dedicated Q&A space, we aim to provide you with clear and insightful answers to some of the most common questions and inquiries our clients have about holistic health, acupuncture and our practice.

Dear Penny, a recent study published on March 2 by The Lancet Neurology shows that Acupuncture is as effective as drugs for treating migraines. It was found 47% of those receiving traditional acupuncture, compared to 40% of those in the drug treatment group had been migraine-free for at least 50% of the time. During your initial acupuncture consultation the cause of your migraine will be diagnosed according to TCM theory (Traditional Chinese Theory) and a treatment carried out to alleviate the pain. Depending on your individual symptoms ongoing treatments may be recommended to help maintain or control your condition. The cause of your migraines may be a deficiency in your body and this will be addressed during your course of treatments. It would be ideal to monitor and log your daily foods and beverages as alcohol, caffeine, dairy, chocolate and spices can trigger a migraine attack.

Dear Louise, according to western medical theory seasonal affective disorder (SAD)is caused by decreased melatonin production in the body, arising from limited exposure to sunlight in the winter months. However the other contributing factors are genetics, hormones and stress. Therefore the reason others around you are managing is that there make-up is fundamentally different from yours. Acupuncture is hugely beneficial in treating neurological, immunological and hormonal disorders and preliminary studies have shown promising results for the treatment of depression. The studies have shown that acupuncture releases serotonin, a common stimulant used in the treatment of depressive disorders, and it has also been suggested that electro-acupuncture maybe a viable alternative to the use of tricyclic antidepressants. The major benefit of acupuncture is that there are no side affects. I recommend that you find a British Acupuncture Council registered Acupuncturist near you and enlist in a treatment plan with them as soon as possible.

Dear Donna, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder amongst women of reproductive age (affecting approximately 10%) and is a leading cause of infertility. It is also known to cause obesity and masculine features in women explaining your weight gain and excess hair growth. Sufferers of PCOS often have high activity in the 'sympathetic nervous system' and it has been found that acupuncture reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system as well as regulate a woman's cycle and reduce levels of testosterone (which are connected with increased activity in the female sympathetic nervous system). I would therefore recommend acupuncture as an affective treatment for your condition as well as regular exercise and sticking to the dietary advice of your doctor.

Dear Joanna, Sciatica refers to pain radiating anywhere down the leg. The pain can appear from the buttock down and can affect either one or both legs. The cause of the pain may lie in the leg itself or more commonly from problems in the lower back. An appropriate diagnosis may be reached by examining the location of the pain, the nature of the pain (sharp or dull) and the factors which aggravate or relieve it. Acupuncture works by invigorating the flow of blood throughout the area, reducing inflammation and promoting the body's own healing ability. Acupuncture also anaesthetises the area and reduces nerve sensitivity and by using electro-acupuncture and cupping creates affective pain relief.

Dear Sylvia, it is thought that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, boosting the immune system to help ward off injuries, soreness and joint pain. Several studies have suggested that it does work for runners. It was reported by the Journal of Chinese Medicine that acupuncture made a significant difference in the reduction of muscle soreness amongst those who had acupuncture during training compared with those who did not. It must be good as Paula Radcliffe and Maria Sharapova are avid fans.

Dear Rowena, those with allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, often have symptoms of sinusitis, and true sinusitis can develop as a result of the mucus blockage it causes. The obstruction prevents the removal of bacteria normally present in the nasal passages, the bacteria begin to multiply and invade the lining of the sinus creating inflammation. The small sinus openings become blocked causing the mucus to accumulate and build up pressure which results in tremendous face pain and headaches. Acupuncture can alleviate the pain of sinusitis by stimulating the nerves responsible for sinus drainage. Acupuncture is well know for improving low immunity which is very often the root cause of sinusitis and hay fever. Therefore in my opinion it is the best treatment available, and I personally have had fantastic results.

Dear Gaynor, I am sorry to hear of your distressing experience. The drugs you have been prescribed have obviously completely unbalanced your mind and body. The philosophy behind acupuncture is total mind and body harmony creating well being and true health. Acupuncture achieves this by stimulating the release of natural chemicals into the muscles, brain and spinal cord which enhances the bodys own healing abilities, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Acupuncture has also been proven to be an effective treatment for insomnia with a success rate of approximately 90% (The Dept of Physiology Shanghai Medical University). I hope this has helped you. Feel free to email me further should you wish to begin a course of treatment.

Dear Patricia, Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is a painful condition which can affect a wide range of individuals. Tennis elbow may be caused by playing tennis, however other activities such as carrying heavy shopping, decorating or even picking up young children may be the culpret as it is the strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and elbow joint which cause this condition. The main symptoms are pain, inflammation, stiffness and a limited range of movement. Electro acupuncture is applied in this instance, to improve circulation and diffuse lactic acid, (the by product of glucose used for muscle energy) which can accumulate in muscles and cause a burning sensation. I can honestly say I have had amazing results with this complaint and have found through experience that a course of six treatments is required.

Whether you're exploring acupuncture for the first time, seeking answers about specific health concerns or simply curious about the healing process, you'll find a wealth of information here. If you don't find what you're looking for, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to provide guidance and support on your path to wellness.