Acupuncture can make a difference to your life.
About Jonathan Pledger
Jonathan qualified in acupuncture from the renowned College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading. The acupuncture degree course is validated by Kingston University and accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB).
Jonathan is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and as such is bound by strict Codes of Safe Practice, Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures. These Codes ensure that patients are offered the highest standards of professional care during their acupuncture treatment.
In addition, Jonathan's practice is licensed with Wokingham District Council.
Jonathan is also a Shiatsu practitioner and trained at the European Shiatsu School. He is a member of the Shiatsu Society, the main regulatory body.
Acupuncture is a system of medicine used for over 2,500 years to restore, promote and maintain good health. By inserting fine needles into acupuncture points located along channels beneath the skin the practitioner can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural balance.
Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing traditional Japanese therapy. Literally translated, Shiatsu means 'finger pressure', but the hands, arms, knees and feet are used as well as, where appropriate, more dynamic rotations and stretches. Many people think of Shiatsu as acupuncture without needles.
Acupuncture, IVF and pregnancy
Research from Southampton University recently found that 1 in 3 women who received acupuncture alongside their IVF treatment successfully conceived. The success rate for those that did not have acupuncture with IVF was 1 in 5.
The study, involving 2,000 women, further concluded that acupuncture not only helps with conceiving, but also with increasing the likelihood of having a successful birth. The report states that, “a woman who has acupuncture to support her IVF treatment has a much greater chance of having a live birth than a woman who doesn’t have acupuncture”.
The acupuncture treatment that a woman receives is varied according to the stages of IVF. It can be used to: help the body down regulate; stimulate follicle growth; prepare for egg harvesting as well as embryo transfer. The one constant function that acupuncture aims to do throughout this traumatic time is to calm the patient and to help her cope with the immense emotional stress that she experiences.
A separate protocol of points can also be used to help maintain the pregnancy. Acupuncture has an excellent record at supporting the mother through pregnancy including nausea, heartburn, constipation, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia, fatigue and general emotional support.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, “acupuncture is also worth trying in the treatment of female infertility’ and further states, ‘in early pregnancy, acupuncture…can be used for the prevention and treatment of morning sickness’ and that acupuncture “is useful if induction of labour is desired”.
Acupuncture and Headaches
Acupuncture can be very effective against headaches
The World Health Organisation states:
“The use of acupuncture for treating chronic pain of the head and face has been studied extensively. For tension headache, migraine and other kinds of headache due to a variety of causes, acupuncture has performed favourably in trials comparing... The results suggest that acupuncture could play a significant role in treating such conditions.”
Many people turn to acupuncture for relief from their headaches and migraines. Many use acupuncture as their first choice to relieve their pain. Sometimes, however, people come for acupuncture treatment because their medication is not effective and they do not know what else to do. One recent example was a woman, aged 22, who came to see me because she had experienced a headache that had been continuous for 7 weeks. She had severe pain 24 hours a day. She could not work, socialise, even think. It was ruining her life. Her GP prescribed many different medicines, but none of them made any difference to the pain. An MRI revealed nothing. Her sleep was poor, she had nausea, dizziness, a lack of concentration and a lack of appetite.
From an acupuncture viewpoint the type of pain experienced (dull ache, throbbing, thumping, muzzy etc.) is significant, as is where the headache is felt. For example, a headache over the eyes with sharp pain is treated very differently to a dull headache affecting the whole head. Of course, acupuncture treats the whole person so as always all other symptoms the patient is experiencing is also taken into account.
This particular patient responded well to acupuncture and after just one treatment experienced only a few hours of pain. After her second treatment 4 days later she experienced no headaches. Just 2 weeks after her first treatment she was free from pain.
Acupuncture, Arthritis and Rheumatism
During the colder months many people notice their arthritis getting worse. Acupuncture can be very effective at helping to control the pain and improving mobility as these independent reports suggest:
The BBC reported on the results of a study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health. The study looked at the effects of acupuncture on 570 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The results: a 40% decrease in pain and a 40% improvement in knee function.
The Times (30/10/08) reported on a German study of 357 patients who were treated with acupuncture for rheumatism. The results of this research were a 36% reduction in pain and stiffness when treated with acupuncture.
A NICE report (8/08/08) looking into the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis reports on a study that showed “electroacupuncture was significantly better than placebo for: Pain (0-4 scale) at end of treatment-24 hours and at 4 month follow-up”.
The NHS on their “choices” website states, “It has been proven that acupuncture does encourage the body to release natural painkilling substances (endorphins), which means that it is most effective in easing your symptoms of pain and discomfort”.
Other things commonly treated
Smoking, alcohol, drugs
Allergies & respiratory
Hayfever, asthma, sinusitis, colds, flu, poor immunity, breathlessness
IBS, constipation, diarrhoea, diverticulitis, colitis, heartburn
Panic attacks, anxiety, depression, mood swings, "not feeling yourself"
Tiredness, ME, lethargy, stress
Infertility, PMT, heavy bleeding, painful and irregular periods
Joint and muscle pain
Arthritis, back pain, pain from injuries, sciatica, neck pain, RSI
Eczema, psoriasis, rashes, itching
Difficulty sleeping, night sweats, disturbed dreams, insomnia
Hypertension, diabetes, headaches, migraine, menopausal problems, urinary problems, psychological disorders
Acupressure, Acupuncture, Cupping, Shiatsu