Why acupuncture? - Guest Blog by Karen Anderson BSc Nursing, RGN, BMAS Acupuncture

3 min read
Why acupuncture? That’s the question I get asked all the time. Well why not?!! I’m a Registered General Nurse with 25+ years’ experience working in all areas of the NHS including research and the thing I have noticed it that we use too many drugs. Not recreational…that’s another story! We take drugs for pain, for sleeping, for the sniffles and for perceived infections. I’m convinced that these drugs cannot be good for us so I decided to look at other effective treatments. Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and used by many people the world over. It originated in China and evidence of its use have been found as far back as 200bc so there must be something in it! These days acupuncture is practiced all around the world, although it took until the late 20th century for it to be taken seriously in the Western World and, acupuncture is now a recognised and accepted option within mainstream healthcare with many clinical trials confirming its effectiveness. So what can be treated? Well, there is a huge scope of different conditions, illnesses or problems that can be treated. My most common problems I see are sports injuries or musculoskeletal problems that respond well to treatment, with most requiring 5-6 sessions followed by ad hoc treatments if niggles start to recur. Another question that is easy to answer is….does it hurt? Well, I can assure you that the insertion of the acupuncture needle is not a painful process. The needles are no thicker than a strand of hair and some are only inserted up to 3mm. In fact some of my patients have described it as a rather pleasurable or relaxing experience with the benefits being felt almost immediately. So I'm sure you are now asking how can acupuncture help me? Well here's an personal example from one of my clients. I was asked to see a 37 year old athlete who had tendinitis around the Achilles' tendon and within the gastrocnemius (calf muscle) following a sports injury a few months previously and for which they had already received physiotherapy.  I had my first session with the client 3 weeks before they were due to take part in a triathlon and 5 weeks before a full marathon. After the initial treatment my client was able to get back to a training schedule that ensured they remained on track for the up coming events. We planned that for 2 weeks we would have 3 sessions per week with needling directly to the tender points around the painful areas.  This treatment was administered along side a fairly intensive training programme. The final week before the triathlon we had one session 2 days before the event. My client managed to complete the event with a personal best time, however was really rather sore afterwards. We continued our pattern of 3 treatments per week prior to the marathon and again this event was not only completed but in a better time than hoped for. check a domain My client now continues to train hard and we get together whenever they start to feel the telltale twinges that alert them to a potential problem. This client required a very intensive course of treatment due to time constraints of impending events. Most treatment plans include 1-2 treatments per week for up to 6 treatments and get just as good results as my client.   If you think I can help you with an on-going problem please don't hesitate to contact me. Karen Anderson BSc Nursing, RGN, BMAS Acupuncture www.karenandersonhealthcare.co.uk  

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