with Mandy Horby
with Greg Lampert
People are often surprised by the 'side-benefits' of acupuncture. Conventional treatment often brings unwanted side effects. When you come for acupuncture it's almost impossible to treat you for just one thing. We can't make a diagnosis until we know everything about your health - that's just the way the system of medicine works. The aim is to get to the root cause of your symptoms: along the way you'll find that other things begin to improve as well.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncturists work with the concept of 'Qi', or life force. You can't see it, and it can't be measured scientifically (yet). Acupuncturists can assess the state of your Qi by taking your pulses at both wrists. Although you can't see Qi, you can certainly feel it. It's what makes you feel alive. It's what shifts inside you when you get angry, feel sad or fall in love.
Qi should flow smoothly around your body to keep you in optimum health. All kinds of things can stop that from happening: poor diet, too many late nights, repeated emotional patterns, bad weather - the list is endless. If you put even a small dam in a river, it will have consequences downstream. Acupuncture points are a way of accessing the flow of energy to free up blocks - so ultimately it's your own Qi that does the healing.
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) provides detailed fact sheets summarising research into the wide range of conditions that can be treated with acupuncture.
Follow this link to see whether your condition is listed. If you don't see it there, please Mandy or Greg to discuss whether acupuncture could help.
What happens in an acupuncture session?
Your first appointment takes an hour and a half (follow-ups are 45 minutes) because your practitioner needs to take down detailed information about your condition. They want to know how long you've had it, how it's changed and what other treatments you've tried. They will also find out about your general state of health - your sleep, appetite, digestion and lifestyle. This information helps to uncover imbalances which might be causing or worsening your condition, and to tailor your treatment specifically.
Acupuncturists believe that your vital energy, or 'Qi' flows around your body in twelve channels, or meridians, The acupuncture points are found along these channels. The different pulse positions on your wrists tell the acupuncturist about the flow of Qi in each of the twelve channels. This gives a good picture of your general state of health and any major imbalances.
Your practitioner will also want to look at your tongue, and is looking for shape, colour, coating, spots, cracks and movement. These all give information which helps tailor your diagnosis.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture needles are made of stainless steel. They are small and fine - usually no thicker than a hair - and come in sterile, single-use blister packs. The sensation of having acupuncture is rarely described as being painful. Most people describe the sensation as feeling like a mild ache which then gives way into a pleasant warmth. Some people remain aware of the needles throughout the session and others forget all about them.
How will I feel during acupuncture treatment?
It's difficult to predict how individuals will respond to acupuncture treatment. The majority of patients find treatment very relaxing - some even fall asleep!
How often will I need to come?
Some conditions respond immediately to acupuncture, and others take a good deal longer. Generally, the longer you've had a condition, the more treatments you'll expect to have, and the more frequently you'll need them.
On average you can expect to come once a week for four treatments, and we will review your progress. By this time we will have a good idea of how acupuncture is working for you. We can then discuss lengthening the time between treatments. Some people will not need further treatment, whilst others work towards coming seasonally for maintenance treatment. Others continue to come monthly because they feel acupuncture keeps them 'in balance' physically and emotionally.
ABOUT THE CLINIC
Sandy Steele opened Bonn Square Therapy Room in October 2015 to gather a talented, committed group of therapists working in central Oxford. In keeping with the welcoming ethos at New Road Baptist Church which kindly hosts us, the centre invites anybody who wishes to explore the benefits of acupuncture. It was Sandy's firm belief that cost should not be a barrier to treatment and therefore the clinic operates a sliding scale of fees for a quota of patients.
As members of the British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC), Mandy and Greg adhere to strict codes of hygiene and ethics, and have full professional indemnity insurance.
Mandy qualified with a BSc. (Hons) in Acupuncture from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading. She practices both 5 element and traditional Chinese medicine blending both approaches. She is formerly a nurse and midwife and it was while working in Vietnam that she discovered acupuncture. The concept of treating a person as a whole rather than simply treating symptoms was the catalyst for Mandy’s decision to train as an acupuncturist. When Mandy isn’t working in the clinic she enjoys walking with her husband and dogs, Rolo and Skipper, reading fiction and spending time with family and friends.
Like her colleagues at Oxford Acupuncture, Mandy is a member of the British Council, adheres to strict codes of hygiene and ethics, and has full professional indemnity insurance.
01865 773 437
Greg has been practising acupuncture since 1989 and Chinese herbal medicine since 1995. He runs his main acupuncture and herbal medicine clinic at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading and works here in Oxford on a Wednesday. Greg also teaches both acupuncture and Chinese dietary therapy at the acupuncture college in Reading and with Danny Blyth is co-author of the booklet and e-book Chinese Dietary Wisdom – Eating for Health and Wellbeing. In whatever time remains, he can usually be found somewhere near the kitchen.
Greg is a member of the British Acupuncture Council , as well as the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine. He adheres to strict codes of hygiene and ethics, and has full professional indemnity insurance.
01865 773 437