Image:Alan Hunter, Acupuncturist

Alan Hunter Lic Ac MBAcC

Traditional Acupuncturist

Alan has been practicing traditional acupuncture on the Southside of Glasgow for the past 11yrs. First working with Bernard King in Queens Drive and then moving to the Glasgow Osteopathic Centre in 2005.

Alan was awarded the Licentiate in Acupuncture from the College of Traditional Acupuncture in Warwick now linked to Oxford Brooks College, Oxford. He was a faculty member of the (Glasgow) College of Tradition Acupuncture and is also a member of the British Acupuncture Council, the Uk's main regulatory body for the practice of traditional acupuncture.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of medicine. The Chinese and other eastern cultures have been using acupuncture to restore, promote and maintain good health for thousands of years. Nowadays more and more people are finding that this long established therapy can offer an effective solution to all manner of today's ills. Acupuncture is now accepted all over the world as a valid system of healthcare and in the UK there are currently over 2,800 qualified acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council. With more and more people seeking acupuncture it is important to understand the difference between the two styles most commonly on offer.

 Traditional Acupuncture is an holistic approach to health based on 2,000 years of development and refinement in the Far East. The tradition is as much about the maintenance of health as the management of disease. Good health is not just the absence of pain or disease. Traditional acupuncture works to maintain the body's equilibrium by focusing on all aspects of well being: physical, mental and emotional.

Western or medical acupuncture (sometimes know as pain relief acupuncture) is a more recent development practiced by doctors and physiotherapists, which uses acupuncture techniques within their existing scope of practice on the basis of a western medical diagnosis.

Who has acupuncture? 

Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose acupuncture as a preventative measure to strengthen their constitution, or because they just feel generally unwell. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children. It can also be used alongside conventional medicine

How Traditional Acupuncture works

According to traditional Chinese philosophy our health is dependent on the body's motivating energy, known as 'qi', moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of meridians (channels) beneath the skin. The flow of qi can be disturbed by many factors, physical, mental and emotional: anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, poisons and trauma. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help to restore its natural balance.

The skill of an acupuncturist lies in their ability to make a traditional diagnosis from what is often a complex pattern of disharmony. The exact pattern and degree of disharmony is unique to each individual and so following diagnosis, the acupuncturist puts together a personalised treatment plan.

Its focus is on improving the overall well being of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.

What can acupuncture do for you?

Acupuncture is widely considered to be beneficial for a range of illnesses and symptoms, from clearly defined complaints such as headaches, vomiting, neck pain and back, arthritis through to more general feelings of ill health such as nausea or low energy.

Conditions commonly treated fall into the following categories of disorder: eye, ear, nose and throat; circulatory; gastrointestinal; gynaecological; genitourinary; immune; musculo-skeletal; neurological; respiratory; emotional and psychological; addiction.

Fertility and IVF treatment

Many women chose to have acupuncture throughout pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, it is increasingly used by couples dealing with problems of fertility or to support IVF treatment.

According to recent research in the USA, acupuncture can significantly improve a woman's chances of successful fertility treatment. Patients receiving acupuncture during IVF had higher rates of pregnancy and lower rates of miscarriage. Researchers from the Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Centre in Colorado Springs studied 114 women undergoing IVF.

Only 36% of the women on conventional treatment became pregnant, compared with 51% of those who had acupuncture. Just 8% of the acupuncture patients suffered miscarriage, compared to 20% of the other patients. The therapy also reduced the risk of ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo developed in the fallopian tube rather than the womb. Live birth rates in the acupuncture women were 23% higher for each IVF cycle

Acupuncture is now accepted all over the world as a valid system of healthcare.