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Posted by Dreamhealer in Acupuncture.

One of the most popular and well-established forms of complementary medicine in the UK, acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine where any illness – physical or psychological – is thought to arise from an imbalance in your vital energy, or Qi (pronounced (chee). Inserting fine needles at key areas on the body is said to restore the balance.

One of the aspects I like about complementary therapists is that they begin any treatment with a full and detailed consultation.

Acupuncturist Katy Henry asked me about my physical health and state of mind. It has been a tumultuous few months because of a family bereavement. Add the daily stresses of juggling family life and work, Christmas preparations and those dreary winter days into the equation, I’m hardly on top form.

We run through my diet, how much fluid I consume, my sleeping habits, family life, how I see myself and how my friends would describe me.

The next question made me blush….”Do you still have good sex?” asked Katy.

Well, I’ll leave that between the two of us….but Katy explains that 50% of her clients have fertility problems.

She said: “You’d be amazed at the number of people trying for a baby who don’t have regular enough sex.”

Katy, who has been practising for five years, specialises in fertility problems and some of her clients have had recurrent miscarriages or are going through IVF.

Other clients include workmen like joiners and welders, who are suffering pain in their shoulders, back and elbows.

While acupuncture won’t necessarily solve the problem, it can relieve the symptoms.

Katy, a member of the British Acupuncture Council, uses a branch known as five element acupuncture which works on several levels: the body, mind and spirit.

She said: “The beautiful thing about acupuncture is we don’t see you as a bunch of conditions or symptoms but a whole person and bringing balance to you.

“In winter we are using our reserves of energy to keep going and perhaps that is why sometimes people feel down.”

After the lengthy consultation, it is time for me to hop on the couch.

When she shows me the needles that are to go in my ears, they are so fine I can barely see them.

There was a slight sting as the needle was inserted on the right but I didn’t feel a thing on the left.

Katy also uses moxa, a dried spongy herb, which is rolled into tiny cones and burnt down on my abdomen to get the blood and Qi flowing smoothly. It was warm, aromatic and relaxing.

Finally, needles are inserted straight in and out of both sides of my wrists.

Clients are normally treated each week for a month and they’ll know within that time if the treatment is having an effect. I only had a short taster session so I don’t know if it would make me feel better after more treatments but I can honestly say, if you’re afraid of needles, it doesn’t hurt.


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