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By Kevin Durjun, Head of Events at The British Acupuncture Council

When people think about acupuncture, one of the main images that comes to mind is needles. But there is a whole raft of other treatments including massage, cupping, gua sha, herbal medicine and moxibustion that are also offered by acupuncturists, either alongside traditional acupuncture or instead of it. And some don’t use needles to stimulate points at all. Read on to discover more.

Acupuncture is well known as a safe and effective treatment that uses needles to gently encourage the body’s ability to heal itself. However needles are just one aspect of an acupuncture treatment.

When you come for an acupuncture treatment your acupuncture practitioner may spend up to two hours on an initial diagnosis session before they even think about picking up their needles. During this session you can be asked many questions relating to your physical health, your lifestyle, and your medical history. Your practitioner may also ask you questions relating to your personal life - relating to your work, your relationships and also your family history. They ask these questions to help build up a complete picture about who you are and to understand more about why a particular health condition may have arisen.

By Mark Bovey, research manager at the British Acupuncture Council

Migraine Awareness Week 2018 runs from 2 – 8 September 2018

According to the Migraine Trust, migraine is the third most common disease in the world, affecting about one in seven people (Steiner et al, 2013).

Chronic migraine affects approximately 2% of the world population and three times as many women as men get migraines.

Research suggests that there are more than 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK. (Steiner et al, 2003)

Acupuncture is a therapy in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at particular points. It originated in China, and is now used in many countries to treat people with migraine.

There is a large body of evidence to suggest that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of migraine.

Kevin Durjun, BAcC Head of Events
Kevin Durjun, BAcC Head of Events

What is facial acupuncture and how does it work?

Radio and television presenter Lisa Snowdon has recently revealed that she is a fan of acupuncture. She has been featured this week undergoing facial acupuncture, which she says helps to lift and tone the muscles in her face and reverse the effects of too little sleep and too much alcohol while on holiday.

Here, Kevin Durjun from the British Acupuncture Council explains what facial acupuncture is and how it works:

What is facial acupuncture

By Kevin Durjun, Head of Events at The British Acupuncture Council

Facial acupuncture is growing in popularity across the UK as more and more women are beginning to move away from invasive treatments such as Botox and surgery and turning instead to more gentle and natural alternatives.

During a cosmetic or facial acupuncture treatment you could expect to have several sterile, slimline acupuncture needles gently inserted into the skin. All of the needles are only used one time. The acupuncture practitioner would focus on areas that might need special attention such as areas of skin that have lost elasticity, that have lost radiance, or where fine lines are beginning to appear.

The treatments are generally very relaxing and will often incorporate other more traditional facial treatment techniques such as cleansing and facial massage. Often the therapist will stimulate large areas with gentle electric currents that have a tightening effect on the skin. During a facial acupuncture treatment you could expect to feel deeply relaxed and calm – this side effect has been noticed by fans of this ancient and effective treatment for millennia.

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and, although relatively new to the West, the Chinese have been using points on the face to combat the signs of ageing and to help with various skin conditions for many years.

What sort of results can you expect?

After just one session many patients report seeing an immediate difference with significant changes in skin tone and gentle changes to complexion. Generally a course of six treatments is recommended in order to result in more dramatic and longer lasting improvements. Many patients have reported reduction of dark circles, reduction of deep and fine lines as well as a softer complexion.

One explanation for the mechanism for this improvement relates to collagen. Collagen is what gives our skin its plumpness. By inserting a needle for a short time it causes a slight damage to the skin which then needs to be repaired – the body responds by increasing the blood flow to the area, bringing with it increased levels of collagen.

One of the wonderful side-effects of having a facial acupuncture treatment is that the practitioner will often add additional points to the treatment that can have an impact on your general wellbeing. This is why after a facial acupuncture treatment many patients report feeling calmer and improved mood.

It is important to go to a fully qualified practitioner such as a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). BAcC members are fully insured and have also undergone a degree level of training so you can feel confident that you are in safe hands.

Kevin Durjun, BAcC Head of Events
Kevin Durjun, BAcC Head of Events

Five element acupuncturist Kevin Durjun is to host a new weekly show on UK Health Radio.

Acupuncture Point will be broadcast at 2am (BST) on Thursday 28 June and then again on Friday 29 June at 6am, Saturday 30 June at 10am, Sunday 1 July at 2pm, Monday 2 July at 6pm and Tuesday 7 July at 10pm.

The upbeat and friendly show will explore the many different paths that can be taken to achieve good health on the level of mind, body and soul.

Kevin, who is also events manager at the British Acupuncture Council, will interview a wide range of people from practitioners to policymakers and will also provide health related updates, particularly in the field of complementary health.

He said: “I am really looking forward to hosting this weekly show. There will be plenty of Chinese medicine related content and I will also play some gorgeous music to uplift your soul and get your feet tapping with happiness.

rachelpeckham grenfell

Rachel Peckham and other acupuncturists set up the clinic

Rachel Peckham is one of several acupuncturists who have been involved in giving acupuncture to victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

She and her colleagues use the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) acupuncture technique, which was founded by former director of the Lincoln Recovery Centre in the South Bronx, New York Dr Michael Smith.

It is known to benefit victims of trauma and was widely used following the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York and other catastrophes around the world.

NADA involves the placement of one to five points in the ear and helps patients with sleep, anxiety and grief. It is a non-dominant process which brings a sense of calm and relaxation and helps the body to heal itself.

Here, Rachel talks about her experience of treating Grenfell victims at a special clinic she and her fellow acupuncturists set up at Al Manaar mosque and how it continues to benefit people in the area today:

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