Category:Meet the Team
Acupuncture is one of the most well-known forms of alternative therapy, and yet perhaps one of the most misunderstood. There are many misconceptions about this practice, and there is so much more to it than most people are aware of. We caught up with acupuncturist Leigh Martin to get a clearer understanding.
Is acupuncture primarily used to treat pain?
Acupuncture is more widely considered for pain relief, at least initially. However, acupuncture can be used for a much greater range of symptoms or issues. This is something people start to discover once they have treatment.
Acupuncture can help to treat numerous conditions including:
- Pain (neck, shoulder, back, sciatica)
- Digestive issues
- Emotional stress
- Menstrual problems
- Long-term chronic illness
… the list goes on!
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s own natural healing response. It does this by enhancing the whole body’s natural functions. The aim is to bring the body to a place of balance whilst treating the root of the problem, as well as any presenting symptoms. Each treatment is unique to the individual.
What if you’re scared of needles – can you still have acupuncture?
It’s not unusual for people to feel nervous of the needles the first time they have treatment. There is sometimes a fear of needles and anticipation around pain. However, any discomfort felt usually dispels within seconds of the needles being placed, and once you have tried acupuncture, you often find it very relaxing and forget about the needles much quicker than previously expected.
There are also other treatments within the Chinese Medicine remit, related to acupuncture, that do not involve needles, such as cupping, moxibustion and Tuina, so if you really can’t stand needles, it may be that one of these would work better for you. Have a chat with me and we can figure out the best approach to suit you.
What is Tuina?
Tuina massage is a hands-on body work technique that is practiced through clothing. It is one of the limbs of Chinese medicine alongside acupuncture and Chinese herbs and follows the same theoretical structure. It is great for pain and muscle tension, and also supports any internal issues. I have recently begun to introduce it into my practice and it has proved to be popular!
What first interested you about acupuncture?
I first became interested in acupuncture after experiencing ongoing shoulder pain lasting for some time; it affected everything in my life and was both physically and emotionally exhausting. After a year of ineffective medical advice, I was not satisfied with the offer of steroid injections as a solution and wished to explore how best to manage and ultimately address the pain in my own way. This brought me to trying acupuncture. I remember during one of many treatments thinking to myself that “I could do this”. So off I went and trained to become an acupuncturist. It involved a three-year full-time degree and a big change in lifestyle and direction. I eventually learned that grief and stress were key players to the pain I had been feeling and I found new ways to manage. Learning about Chinese medicine has had a profound effect on my life and how I live it: I love it. I am especially happy when I can share this passion in the clinic room, so others can feel the many benefits as well.
What can people expect when they come for a session with you?
You will be encouraged to take this time for yourself: a moment of calm in everyday living.
I will listen as you share your symptoms and how they are affecting you. Whilst I am not a counsellor, there is a lot to be said for simply being heard.
As a practitioner, I am particularly interested in supporting people to feel less stressed. This is always at the forefront of my mind as I believe that, by reducing stress, many conditions can be greatly improved as a result.
If you are nervous about the needles, this is OK – we can work together so you feel comfortable and at ease.
Lifestyle and dietary advice may be included if relevant.
Why would you recommend people give acupuncture a go?
Acupuncture is more than a sum of its parts. Meaning there are many benefits to be had that are not initially considered as being part of a treatment. People often report feeling more energised, grounded and relaxed as a result of acupuncture and notice that not only do initial symptoms improve, but they may also have a better night’s sleep or feel less stressed as a result.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Qi Gong practice. Meditation. Swimming. Cycling. Reading good novels. Being in nature. Going to gigs.
If you are interested in trying acupuncture with me, you can book your appointment here. Or call us on 01273 698687 to find out more about how it might be able to help you.