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Ashgate Hospice > Tapping into comfort: the transformative power of acupuncture at Ashgate Hospice – by Emma Wright

Please note this blog post contains images and video footage of needles.

Beyond conventional medical practices, the Physiotherapy team at Ashgate Hospice have embraced acupuncture to enhance the wellbeing of patients. This holistic approach is making waves in the realm of palliative care – a practice that goes beyond the physical, reaching into the realms of emotional and spiritual care.

Acupuncture, an ancient practice with roots in traditional Chinese medicine, offers a holistic and gentle form of therapy to those navigating the challenging journey of a life-limiting illness.

This blog post delves into the transformative journey of acupuncture, exploring the profound impact it has on the lives of patients seeking comfort, relief, and a renewed sense of peace.

A harmony of tradition and compassion

Acupuncture, often associated with pain relief, but can also be used to treat breathlessness, nausea and hot flushes, is a therapeutic practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow. In the context of hospice care, acupuncture takes on a holistic approach, addressing not only physical symptoms but also the emotional and spiritual aspects of the patient’s wellbeing. It’s not merely about treating physical symptoms, but creating a harmonious balance of mind, body, and spirit. All of our Physiotherapists have completed extensive training in acupuncture at postgraduate level, ensuring they have the specialised skills to support people with palliative care needs.

The emotional tapestry

Facing a life-limiting illness is a journey fraught with emotional turbulence. Acupuncture addresses this emotional tapestry, offering a safe space for patients to explore their feelings and find moments of tranquillity. The meditative nature of acupuncture sessions becomes a form of emotional release, fostering a sense of peace and acceptance amidst the storm.

Acupuncture - Circling the dragon
Circling the dragon, an acupuncture technique that involves surrounding a painful zone.
Acupuncture needle in the foot
Needles are inserted in various areas of the body.
Aiding rest and relaxation

Within the calming ambiance of the hospice, our skilled physiotherapists trained in acupuncture work to alleviate pain, and enhance overall quality of life. The quiet rooms, adorned with soft lighting, soothing music and aromatherapy create an atmosphere to aid relaxation and reflection. It’s a stark contrast to the clinical setting often associated with medical care.

Individualised care tailored to the patient

What sets our physiotherapy acupuncture service apart is its emphasis on individualised care. Each patient is unique, and their journey with illness is a deeply personal one. Our physiotherapists take the time to understand the specific needs and concerns of each individual, tailoring treatments to address both physical and emotional aspects of their wellbeing.

Benefits beyond the physical

While acupuncture is renowned for its effectiveness in managing physical symptoms such as pain and nausea, it has many more benefits. Patients often report a profound sense of relaxation and reduced anxiety after acupuncture sessions, offering respite from the burdens of their conditions. The holistic nature of acupuncture addresses how the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected.

By tapping into the body’s natural energy channels, or meridians, acupuncture also promotes a sense of self-awareness and resilience. Patients can feel more in tune with their bodies and emotions, fostering a sense of control and acceptance amid the challenges they face.

An integration of Eastern wisdom and Western medicine

By embracing this traditional practice, we are not only addressing the physical symptoms of illness but also nurturing the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of its patients. Acupuncture stands as a testament to the endless possibilities when ancient wisdom meets modern healthcare.

Accessing acupuncture services

Our acupuncture services are available to patients who are receiving care from Ashgate Hospice. If you are a patient and would like to talk to one of our physiotherapists about acupuncture, please speak to your healthcare professional and ask to be referred to the Physiotherapy Service. Acupuncture can be given in the physiotherapy clinic or in the patient’s own home.

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