Acupuncture Talk To Salvation Army A Resounding Success……

 21st October 2015

Last week’s talk to the ladies and gents at Psalter Lane Salvation Army went down really well. Simon talked about acupuncture, how it works, what it can treat and gave a demonstration to show that it is a pain-free treatment option. Questions arose around specific issues including acupuncture for anxiety and depression, for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and for arthritis, so we thought we’d share this with you all in our blog.

Anxiety & Depression (including PDST)

Anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post traumatic stress disorder. They can be chronic and cause considerable distress and disability. As well as emotional symptoms such as worry, disturbed sleep, irritability and poor concentration, anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, cold hands, muscle tension and aches, trembling and twitching. Also, the symptoms of many physical conditions can become worse with stress, for example, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and tension headaches, and back pain.

Treatments recognised as useful for anxiety disorders include psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and applied relaxation, and medication such as some antidepressants and benzodiazepines. All the drug treatments have side effects, and many may cause withdrawal or discontinuation symptoms.

How Anxiety works for Anxiety & Depression

Ancient Chinese medicine describes an energy force called Qi that regulates the body’s overall health. Like blood in the circulatory system, Qi moves throughout the body via pathways called meridians. When factors like injury, stress, poor nutrition, or a change in environment disrupt the flow of Qi, health issues follow. By inserting needles at specific points in the body, acupuncturists restore the balance of Qi and the body’s overall health.

Qi is just a metaphor for metabolic function, or the chemical reactions constantly taking place in the body.

Acupuncturists insert each needle half a millimeter away from a nerve. Depending on where the needles go, acupuncture can cause the nervous system to produce painkilling chemicals, jump-start the body’s natural ability to heal itself, or stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, including anxiety. All of these results can help people feel more balanced and treat a variety of illnesses.

Recent Study Shows Acupuncture Could Help Anxiety Sufferers

New research by the British Acupuncture Council and the charity Anxiety UK, revealed that only 10 per cent of sufferers use acupuncture to deal with their anxiety, whereas almost half (49.2 per cent) are prescribed medication.

Almost all participants of the study (93.8 per cent), commissioned to mark World Mental Health Day on Thursday, said they would be open to trying a complementary therapy but nearly two thirds (62.7 per cent) were not even aware that acupuncture could help their condition.

Anxiety UK believes this could be down to a lack of understanding of the condition, cost of treatments as well as problems accessing therapies, especially complementary therapies.

Nick Pahl of the British Acupuncture Council says: “As traditional acupuncture can be enormously beneficial for anxiety, we felt it was important to better inform those suffering with the condition about how acupuncture can help so they can make an educated decision regarding their treatment.”

The acupuncture practitioners questioned for the study said the most common form of anxiety they treat is depression (94.9 per cent) closely followed by panic attacks (86.1 per cent) with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) not far behind (50.6 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds of practitioners said their patients see them instead of previous coping methods and that a significant 87.3 per cent of patients have previously tried medication.

The study also suggests that over two thirds of the UK’s estimated three million anxiety sufferers fail to seek treatment for their condition, admitting that they just ‘try and get on with things’, even though half of sufferers stated that the condition affects their career and relationships.

Arthritis And Acupuncture

The Arthiritis UK website gives good advice on the benefits of acupuncture. In a similar way to the process described above the charity states, “Acupuncture relieves pain by diverting or changing the painful sensations that are sent to your brain from damaged tissues and by stimulating your body’s own pain-relieving hormones (endorphins and encephalins). This pain relief may only last a short time when you begin treatment, but repeated treatment (usually weekly for six or eight sessions) can bring long-term benefit, often for several months. If the pain returns, then more acupuncture may help for another few months.

As with all treatments to relieve pain (including physiotherapy, hand therapy and painkilling drugs), breaking the ‘pain cycle’ sometimes gives permanent relief. This depends on the stage of your arthritis, although acupuncture can help at almost any stage of your condition. As with many conventional treatments, it can’t cure or reverse the process of arthritis.  If you can’t tolerate conventional drugs then acupuncture may help you through a painful episode.” (Arthritis UK)

Further Information

If you suffer from any of the above conditions and would like to talk to Simon about how acupuncture could help you please give us a call at the Clinic on 0114 3273240. Simon will be able to advise on the best course of treatment for you.

Booking A Talk

If you are a member of a group and would like us to come and talk to you about acupuncture please get in touch. All talks are free of charge and can be tailored to individual need.