Christine KimBPE, BSc Hons SW, BSc Hons TCM, BM (Beijing), MATCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a health care system that has been practised in China for over 2,500 years. It has also been commonly practised in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and other countries in the far East. TCM treats each individual’s emotional and physical state to heal, recover and maintain homeostasis/ balance for optimal health. The components of TCM include: acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutrition, tuina (Chinese massage) and exercise (qi-gong, tai-chi).
Acupuncture has become a very widely practised and accepted natural treatment in Western countries and has become integrated into a number of NHS departments in Britain, most notably Pain departments. Western medical acupuncture is a ‘dry needling’ version of acupuncture but it is not based on TCM.
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles, much finer than those for injections or for taking blood samples. The very fine acupuncture needles are about as thin as a strand of hair. The most commonly used needles by Christine are 0.18mm-0.20mm in diameter. These are inserted into acupuncture points on the surface of the body and each point has specific functions. A combination of points are selected to heal illness and reduce pain, thereby promoting good health and a sense of wellness.
Who might benefit?
Acupuncture May Treat a Wide Range of Conditions
Female conditions including:
Gynaecology (menstrual problems, PCOS, Endometriosis), Infertility, IVF Support, Pregnancy related symptoms, Breech presentation, Pre-birth/ Labour preparation, Labour induction, Post childbirth support, Prolapsed uterus, Vestibulitis/ Vulvodynia, Menopause
Male conditions including:
Erectile dysfunction, Infertility
Pain conditions and Sports injuries including:
Headaches, Migraines, Facial pain, Neck pain, Shoulder pain, Tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Hip pain, Low back pain, Piriformis syndrome, Sciatica, Sacro-iliac pain, Knee pain, Bursitis, Neuropathic pain, Fibromyalgia, Shingles, Restless leg syndrome
Mental-Emotional conditions including:
Stress, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Depression, Insomnia, Palpitations
Dermatological conditions including:
Acne, Eczema, Herpes zoster, Hyperpigmentation, Impetigo, Lichen Simplex, Psoriasis, Roascea, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, Tinea, Urticaria, Vitiligo Scars
Neurological conditions including:
Bell’s palsy, Blurred vision, Dizziness, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Stroke, Tinnitus, Trigeminal neuralgia, Vertigo
Gastrointestinal conditions including:
Abdominal pain, Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Gastritis, IBS, Indigestion/ Heartburn, Nausea, Vomiting, Reflux
TCM Acupuncture, in conjunction with diet and lifestyle recommendations not only treat the symptoms of a condition, but importantly, they address and treat the root cause of a person’s condition as well. If treatment is only based on easing symptoms, the condition will persist. However, treating the cause behind the condition, aids the body to start healing itself and reach a state of homeostasis; a state of balance.
Acupuncture can help to reduce pain and inflammation, reduce a range of physical symptoms and anxiety, while improvimg mood.
The benefits of acupuncture include a state of physical, mental and emotional well-being
How it works
There is a growing body of research studying the efficacy of acupuncture and how it works. This is highlighted by the fact that currently there is more research being conducted on acupuncture than for nursing and physiotherapy.
Acupuncture has been found to have general effects on the nervous system, which in turn demonstrates:
- The stimulation of endocrine glands, activating systemic effects
- An alteration in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and changes in the regulation of blood flow, centrally and peripherally
- Alterations in immune functions
Acupuncture therefore has a sophisticated and diverse impact on various systems in the body, influencing the physiological processes of hormones and the immune system.
A technique that applies small electrical currents to needles at specific points on the body. It is effectively used as a means of reducing chronic pain and muscle spasms, as a treatment for neurological (nerve) disorders, and weight management. The electric charge is very small, and can be adjusted by the practitioner for the comfort of the patient.
Cupping disperses and moves qi (the body’s vital internal energy), stimulates blood circulation, removes blockages and toxins by exerting suction and pressure on the surface of the skin. Cupping may be particularly helpful to treat pain and respiratory conditions.
A therapy using an herb that is used: 1) indirectly, 2) with acupuncture needles, or 3) (rarely in the West) burnt directly on the skin. The treatment warms regions of the body and acupoints to stimulate circulation, inducing a smoother flow of qi and blood. It is especially effective in the treatment of conditions with ‘cold’ and ‘dampness’, such as osteoarthritis and other external and internal conditions. It is now also commonly known in the West as a treatment to turn breech babies.
What happens during the initial consultation and acupuncture treatment?
Prior to the first appointment, normally a telephone call takes place to discuss your condition and address any queries you may have.
The first appointment is the longest in duration as it includes a comprehensive consultation. The consultation includes a detailed history of your condition, observation of your tongue and examination of the pulses (on both wrists). Your (and your family’s) health history and your lifestyle are discussed. Details regarding diet, appetite, digestion, urinary habits, exercise, sleep, stress and gynaecological health (for women) are also considered. For individuals with fertility issues seeking natural fertility treatment or IVF support, further topics pertaining to this are reviewed. An assessment can then be made and recommendations regarding diet, lifestyle and exercise may be provided. If indicated, you may also be advised to take Chinese herbal medicines. The consultation is then followed by an acupuncture treatment.
Based on the consultation and assessment, acupuncture points are selected and the treatment takes place by inserting very fine needles into the surface of the skin in different parts of the body. Most of the acupuncture needles tend to be inserted below the elbows and knees, but they can be placed into various parts of the body.
Follow-up sessions involve a discussion to monitor progress since the previous acupuncture treatment. And treatment is normally scheduled at least weekly.
What to wear for an appointment
It is best to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes that may be easily removed. And it is recommended to not wear jewellery. It is also helpful to have long hair tied up.
Appointments are available on Thursdays and occasional Mondays
Initial appointments are: up to 55 minutes, up to 70 minutes, or up to 85 minutes
Follow-up appointments are: up to 40 minutes or up to 55 minutes
Initial telephone discussion: FREE of cost. Christine would be pleased to discuss and assess how to best meet your needs and address any queries you may have.
The cost and duration of a session depends on how much time is required to assess and meet your needs.
Initial consultation with acupuncture and affiliated treatments start at £65.
(The fee may be higher for Pain and Fertility/ Ob-Gyn patients and chronic conditions, as often more time is required)
Follow-up appointments start at £50
12 week Prepaid Treatment Programmes (as Follow-up appointments ) may also be offered, please contact Christine Kim to enquire.
*There is no additional Chinese herbal medicine consultation fee with acupuncture treatment (this is included in the acupuncture treatment fee)
* Chinese herbal medicines (oral and topical) are not included in the treatment fee
For more information please visit Christine’s website