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The diagnosis consists of questioning, observation, and examination of the tongue and pulses and feeling by touch for tightness or tenderness in any of the main meridians on the forearm and lower legs. The physician is looking for an overall pattern in the patient rather than the symptoms alone. The pulse and tongue diagnosis in Chinese medicine is highly refined. The rhythm and quality of the pulse on both wrists as well as i

ts strength indicate the state of health in the person. The tongue reveals through its shape, colour, movement and coating the progression and degree of the illness. The channels on the arm and leg can also reflect the state of disharmony in the internal organs.


Anyone can benefit from acupuncture, even babies (where finger pressure or tiny needles are used to stimulate the energy rather than needles). Pregnant women can be treated without causing any harm to the mother or baby, though certain points are avoided if miscarriage is likely. Infact, acupuncture and herbal treatments can be very effective in treating repeat miscarriages or threatened miscarriage. Treatment for chronic problems is usually once per week or fortnight, and for acute problems(three months durations or less) can be twice a week, but can be resolved with fewer treatments.(for example tennis elbow which occurred two weeks ago can be resolved with around three treatments).

The number of treatments needed depends entirely upon the individual case and how long the problem has existed. In Britain acupuncture is known for it’s treatment of back pain and migraines, but it can be effective in treating many painful disorders and diseases. In it’s two thousand year history, acupuncture has been used to treat almost every disease which presented itself in the population of China. Modern medical research is beginning to find that it can be effective in the treatment of many problems too (such as Asthma, IVF support and migraine). An acupuncturist is trained to recognise a pattern of inharmony before any symptoms are manifest, often long before the patient is aware of any symptoms. Therefore, acupuncture can prevent illness as well as cure it. In problems such as Arthrits, acupuncture can provide pain relief, reduce stiffness in the joints, and help reduce the amount of medication needed, as well as increase mobility in the joint.

Some diseases (mainly wasting diseases) are very difficult to cure with acupuncture if the disease has progressed to such an extent that the body has become very thin. When the body is depleted there are no reserves to work for the healing process. In these instances, a combination of acupuncture and herbs can help.

The World Health Organisation lists many diseases for which Acupuncture can be effective. Please click on the link. It must be remembered that the acupuncturist evaluates an illness in terms of the whole person and bases treatment on all the signs and symptoms presented rather than relying on the western “label” for a particular disease.