I have only just recently registered onto this site and have only recently been able to put a name to the symptoms I feel which is a relief in itself!
When I came on the forum the first post I came to was this one as I am a firm believer in acupuncture and I wanted to find out other peoples experiences with it.
In my experience it has helped me to feel pain-free in the areas my practitioner has worked on so far for up to a week and half at a time and this is expected to last longer as my treatment continues. It may not ever fully cure the pain for good but it has made such an astounding difference that I would recommend it to anyone and everyone I know!
After reading the posts on here I figured it may help people to know a little more about it and so I have a written down some of what I know about it
I would suggest that on many of the posts I have read on here and indeed from stories I have heard from people I know, experiences of acupuncture can often come from chiropractors, doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists etc. in short, people who don't really know what they are doing! For those of you who have tried acupuncture and not found it helpful or useful or even too painful, I would ask whether or not you went to an acupuncture registered with the British Acupuncture Council or not? If not then I would recommend maybe trying it again! Acupuncture is often used by people who donâ€™t necessarily know the intricacies of what can really be done with this form of therapy and often they will not know a great deal of the theory behind the practice. This will make A LOT of difference!
There are two simple ways of knowing whether you have been to someone who has been trained properly;
Did they take notes of your pulse(s) throughout the session
Did they make a note of what your tongue looked like?
These are two simple but effective methods that ALL properly trained acupuncturists will do in EVERY single session.
To make sure you are getting the most out of the treatment I would suggest firstly reading up on the principals of acupuncture to find out how it works, what it can do for you and also what you should expect. A good book to get you started is 'The Acupuncture Handbook' by Angela Hicks. Secondly I would recommend that where possible it would probably be good for you to try and find a practitioner who uses both 'Five Element Acupuncture' and 'TCM Acupuncture' in their method of work (these are the two different recognised forms of acupuncture and some practitioners integrate both forms). If this is not possible it would probably be better to go to a practitioner who uses TCM Acupuncture - TCM focuses on external/ acute pain and the Five Element focuses more on the internal symptoms (hence why it is good when they are integrated) - do not be afraid to ask what style they practice - and remember that if they know their stuff they will have no hesitation it answering
Thoroughly trained practitioners in acupuncture in this country will generally now have done a minimum 3-year degree course. Often (but of course, not always) other practitioners using acupuncture in their practice's will have done short courses - these may be anything from a weekend to a few weeks (unfortunately it is not illegal in this country to do these short courses and go on to 'practice' acupuncture) and although they can help, you will ultimately benefit more from someone who thoroughly knows what they are doing.
I cannot stress enough how much difference acupuncture can make to you when done properly! It has made such a profound impact on me that I am now currently planning to train as an acupuncturist in about two years time. If you have any questions about anything I have mentioned please do ask and I can try and answer for you I hope this post helps someone