How acupuncture can help elderly

The overall aim of acupuncture is to restore the body’s equilibrium and it can be extremely beneficial in helping the elderly

Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles dating back over 2000 years. Acupuncture views pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance.This approach to healthcare is unique, viewing physical, emotional and mental conditions as interdependent.The treatment is based on the individual, not on the specific illness and all the symptoms are seen in relation to each other.The traditional acupuncturist’s principle treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body’s qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely.

Each patient is unique. Two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive very different acupuncture treatments. There can be many reasons for this: emotional imbalance, stress, poor nutrition, infection, and injury are among the most common

Acupuncture can help with depression and anxiety in the older person

In Chinese medicine, emotions are a natural part of human existence and no human being escapes being sad, angry, or worried sometimes

The emotions only become causes of disease when they are particularly intense, and most of all, when they are prolonged over a long period of time, especially when they are not expressed, or acknowledged

Acupuncture can help to reduce over-medication in the elderly

No other age group is as routinely over-medicated as the elderly

Combinations of medications for various ailments used in conventional medicine can exhaust and confuse the body in other ways

Acupuncture can help to balance and restore, by restoring the body’s qi, or vital energy flow

Acupuncture offers pain relief to the ageing person

Unlike other age groups, restoring an elderly patient to vital health may seem to be an unachievable goal

Even a modest improvement in pain or bodily function, however, can make a significant difference to an elderly person’s quality of life

Don’t be discouraged by how badly off an elderly patient may seem. Acupuncture can help

Acupuncture can help the carers

Looking after your ageing parent or relative can be exhausting, challenging and emotionally draining

Acupuncture can help the care givers to maintain their own life balance, restore their energy and balance their emotions, so that they feel better about themselves and their quality of care

What is the treatment?

By inserting ultra-fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body’s natural responses

The experience of having acupuncture is pleasant, relaxing and energizing. The needles are hair thin, sterile and generally painless and are never used twice

There may be a brief soreness, or pulling sensation when the needle is inserted, which means that your qi has connected with the needle.

You are made comfortable and are draped appropriately

A good treatment feels like being in “the zone”, or a deep meditation as your body moves back into balance

Where to find an acupuncturist in your area?


Gary Tatham has worked in complementary medicine for over 15 years. He began his career in the USA as a myotherapist, working alongside chiropractors in Arizona. During this time Gary began to observe that much of the pain presenting in his patients was due to causative factors such as stress or emotional imbalance and was therefore beyond treatment on a purely physical level.  He began studying eastern bodywork such as shiatsu which addresses the more energetic and emotional aspects behind a given physical condition, becoming able to understand and deliver a deeper, more complete treatment based entirely on the individual’s specific needs.Gary returned to the UK in 1998, continuing to work as a myotherapist whilst studying to become a licensed acupuncturist.  He has been a member of the British Acupuncture Council for 12 years and has held a practice at Golders Hill Health Centre for the last 10 years. His particular interests include the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and those that fall outside the conventional medical approach such as anxiety, stress and emotional disharmony.

Gary Tatham can be found at Golders Hill Health Centre, 151 North End Road, London NW11.Telephone Number:0208 455 4522



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