Acupuncture in London & Salisbury

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December 2018

Stages of Care With Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

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Each person coming to my clinic is unique, and the key to their treatment success is tailoring treatment to the individual patient.  This will help them to achieve their health goals.

After taking a detailed medical history to determine the cause of the problem I will formulate a treatment plan. This is then implemented as a three stage process.

The 3 stages of care

  1. Relief phase
  2. Correction/treatment phase
  3. Maintenance

Relief phase

This is the most obvious  phase and one that patients relate to easily. Put simply this is symptom relief.  Most people come to my clinic with some symptoms of illness which cause pain and/or distress. These must be addressed quickly.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we look at a disease’s root and branch, i.e. the cause and manifestation of an illness. In the first phase I will seek to find the quickest way to alleviate symptoms and provide relief. Treatment in this stage will usually be frequent to try to break the cycle of the problem, often several times a week.

Treatment phase

Much like an iceberg most problems are deeper than the symptoms alone. Resolving or reducing symptoms in the first phase of care doesn’t always mean there has been a cure because most of the problem is probably hidden under the surface. What we feel or see is just the tip. If treatment were to stop now it is almost certain that symptoms would reveal themselves again fairly soon. This phase is perhaps the most important.

In the clinic my treatment will possibly change emphasis at this point. New acupuncture prescriptions and changing herbal formulas, focusing on the root rather than the branch. Treatment will be less frequent than in the relief phase, gradually tapering out as the symptoms reduce and episodes become less frequent.

Maintenance phase

Many chronic healthcare problems do not begin spontaneously and regular acupuncture can help to prevent re occurrences of symptoms by cutting off the root cause. If you continue bad habits or carry out the activities that caused your problem, it is unlikely that you will stay in perfect balance forever.

Some conditions are never truly cured and management is the only option. For example, treatment may allow someone with an arthritic joint to be pain free, but acupuncture cannot realistically repair damaged cartilage. What we can hope to do is reduce inflammation and further degeneration of the joint. This will mean less pain and perhaps more importantly a reduction in the use of potentially harmful medications.

If a  patient reaches a point where they are symptom free for a long period of time, this is the point that one may choose to attend for maintenance treatment. These are semi regular MOT type sessions. Usually every four to six weeks.

Many people find long term health benefits of maintenance treatment extends beyond their original problem. More energy, stress management and better sleeping patterns often being seen. This can have a long term effect on the bodies resilience to illness.