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A: The cost of treatment varies depending where you are in the UK. In the Greater London area, the first session, which is often a great deal longer, the cost can range from £50 to £70, with subsequent treatments which can last from between a half hour to a full hour costing between £40 and £50. In the rest of the country the prices tend to be a little lower, woth the first session between £35 - £50, and subsequent sessions £30 to £40.
However, a great deal depends on the individual practitioner and the setting in which they work. If someone operates from a Grade 2 listed building in a city centre the overhead of the property will no doubt be reflected in the cost of treatment, whereas someone working from home may charge less.
There are also a growing number of what are called multi-bed clinics run by BAcC members who both like working in this way and who want to make acupuncture treatment more accessible and not the preserve ofthose who can afford it. Treatment in these facilities, where there may be four or five treatment couches in a large room can cost between £15 - £25.
Q: My mother is 53 and has 7mm fibroids. The question is can acupuncture bring climax faster so that the fibroid can shrink naturally?
We are not sure that we fully understand your question. If you are asking whether acupuncture treatment can have an effect on female sexual function and whether that in turn can influence the size of a fibroid by virtue of blood flow and muscular action, we are unable to offer a view. There is no evidence which we are able to offer to support this view. If we have seriously misunderstood what you are trying to say we apologise
We have, however, been asked about fibroids on several occasions, and in one of the more recent responses we said:
From a western perspective the evidence for treating fibroids is not that good. In a major review undertaken two years ago
the authors concluded that while acupuncture was heavily used in China to treat fibroids, there was not enough research conducted according to the best practice in the West to be able to draw firm conclusions.
However, one of the great strengths of Chinese medicine is that it operates with an entirely different understanding of pathology and physiology. There are ways in which conditions which are given western labels like 'fibroids' are understood which do not overlap or translate exactly with the western label. Fibroids, for example, are sometimes described as 'Blood stasis' or as manifestations of 'Dampness', and the treatment protocols are aimed at these as systemic problems which manifest in the local disturbance. If the diagnosis is one of 'blood stasis' or 'dampness' there may well be other symptoms and diagnostic signs which confirm this pattern and offer possibilites for treatment.
The review quotes a study from 2010
which concludes that none of the trials which took place were designed well enough to be taken as the basis for drawing conclusions. Trials are themselves quite rare, as is evidenced by the fact that the publishers of this study
are very keen to point out that this is the first case of its kind to show a positive response.
As we said in the response, though, there may be aspects of your mother's overall condition which offer possibilities of benefit from treatment with acupuncture, and it would be worthwhile her visiting a local BAcC member to assess face to face whether the is something treatable.
A: There are no specialists within the BAcC in the treatment of IBS. This is not because we lack expertise; there are hundreds of extremely experienced practitioners, and the standard of graduate entrant is also very high. The issue is that Chinese medicine primarily treats the person, not the condition, so for every twenty people who have the generic label 'IBS sufferer' there may be twenty different diagnoses in Chinese medicine, each requiring a different treatment strategy. To that end, every practitioner is properly equipped to treat every patient whom they see according to Chinese medicine principles.
This is, of course, very different from saying that acupuncture can help every named condition. There are many conditions where treatment will only have a marginal effect, say, for example, in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes. However, there are always aspects of someone's health which can be improved, even if only at the level of helping someone to be better able to cope with what they have.
IBS is, in fact, one of the more common problems with which people present, and we recently answered a specific question about IBS in which were the paragraphs:
Q: Can acupuncture be an effective treatment for serious IBS issues? Medical diagnosis recently has indicated that the lower intestine and bowel are severely inflamed and twisted. The only recommended treatment is a drug which is also used as an anti-psychotic, with serious side effects. I am seeking a treatment regime more sympathatic to the body but do not know if acupuncture could work.
A: We have produced a factsheet on IBS
which summarises the overall position and makes reference to a number of research studies which show that acupuncture treatment may well have a significant benefit for the IBS sufferer.
However, in our experience the diagnosis of IBS is usually nowhere near as specific as the one which you have, which seems to indicate visible changes in the bowel and its position within the lower abdomen. The majority of cases are mainly, it often appears, diagnosed on the basis of reported symptom, and are often addressed by changes to diet and various strategies which help to reduce the stress which seems to aggravate the condition...........
..............The best course of action is to discuss the situation with a BAcC member local to you. We are confident that they will be able to give you much more specific advice based on a face to face assessment of what is going on from a Chinese medicine perspective.
Q: Please do you have a list of acupuncturists who specialise in addictions therapy - especially in relation to gambling addictions?
A: Sadly we are not aware of anyone who specialises in the treatment of gambling addiction, nor are we entirely sure that acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention would be sufficient in itself to deal with this problem. There is usually, to use the jargon, a multifactorial approach, in which acupuncture is but one component.
There is very little by way of research in this field. If you google 'acupuncture' and 'gambling addiction' you will find a report commissioned in Ontario which concluded that acupuncture could at best be described as having a small but relatively unimportant effect and probably no effect at all. The study is well designed, although from a Chinese Medicine perspective the variety of treatments seems a little spartan. CM is predicated on individual treatments tailored to the unique needs of the patient, and delivering the same treatments to an entire group would not always be appropriate. However, the points used were some of the more powerful on the body and if there were to be an effect, they would surely generate it.
You may find that some of the groups contained within the acupuncture microsystems group registered with the CNHC might extend their work in auricular acupuncture to gambling. This database can be found at www.macrwg.org. There are also two organisations, NADA UK and SMART UK which deal with alcohol and drug addiction, each having several thousand members using the five point protocol and similar techniques. You may also find that these have a number of people who have dealt with gambling addiction.
In general, we tend to believe that Chinese medicine, treating as it does the person as much as the condition they have, can achieve some fairly extraordinary changes in all manner of conditions. For problems such as addictions, however, we tend to be more cautious, especially since we are aware that it often requires a more experienced practitioner not to be outflanked by a patient who is often very skilled at avoidance and deception.
It is always worthwhile talking to a BAcC member local to you to see what advice they can offer directly, and they may be aware of local initiatives. There are also practitioners in various fields such as hypnotherapy who may be able to offer solutions, but these are notoriously difficult to sort out by virtue of qualification alone, and a personal recommendation would be extremely useful. This 'expert' rather likes the approach taken by people using Ericksonian hypnotherapy methods, but these are also used in business coaching and not everyone who claims to be using the technique will necessarily be able to deal with a problem like addiction.
A: The short answer is 'possibly', which is perhaps not quite as decisive as you would like!
The vast majority of Baker's cysts or popliteal cysts are benign, and the NHS Choices website summarises very elegantly the main issues involving them
We would fully endorse this advice. In the first instance you need to eliminate any of the more serious possibilities that could be causing the problem, and if you have not seen your GP and had blood tests, we would recommend that you do. After that, if there are no signs of serious underlying pathology, we think that acupuncture treatment will do no harm and may well be of benefit. If the cyst has arisen because of arthritis in the knee there is a considerable body of evidence that acupuncture can reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joint
and the acupuncture treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee only narrowly failed to be included in the NICE Guidelines for knee treatments, we understand.
If the problem is not down to arthritis, there are other ways in Chinese medicine of understanding the flow of fluids in the body and the reasons for build-ups in areas such as the knee, and a practitioner will very quickly be able to elicit from basic diagnostic signs whether this is a local manifestatio of bloackage which treatment may help directly or whether it is the local manifestation of a deeper problem which treatment may also be able to help but a little more slowly.
The best advice is to visit a BAcC member local to you for a brief face to face assessment of the problem. This will give you a far more precise answer than we are able to do at a distance.