Acupuncture is my job and I love it. But because I work with it, read about it and discuss it every day, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone is as familiar with it as I am.
So I thought I'd take this opportunity to bust a myth or two, starting with what it is that acupuncture can treat.
'Acupuncture's used for bad backs, right?'
Wrong. Well, not wrong, but it can be great for so much more besides.
NICE recommends acupuncture for relief from painful conditions as diverse as arthritic knees, dental pain, lower back pain and migraine. All of which can react brilliantly to treatment. However, it can help with any number of other conditions, not all of which necessarily involve physical pain.
For example, many people react extremely positively to acupuncture for anxiety and depression and the symptoms that may accompany them, such as insomnia or lack of appetite. Exam-related stress or stress at work? Again, acupuncture could be just what you need. IBS and gynaecological/fertility difficulties are other examples of conditions for which acupuncture can be effective. In fact, because treatment is tailored to the individual rather than the symptoms alone, any number of health problems can benefit from acupuncture.
Just because you've not heard of your particular health issue being treatable with acupuncture doesn't mean it isn't. It never hurts to ask the question. You might be surprised by what acupuncture can do for you.