Having trained in acupuncture with the BMAS (British Medical Acupuncture Society) at the Royal Homeopathic Hospital, Great Ormond St, London, Dr Cristina Romete practices acupuncture within the scope of her primary profession, as a general practitioner.
Over the years Dr Romete has seen a great benefit from acupuncture in particular in patients suffering with headaches, migraines, back pain, shoulder pain and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr Romete practices acupuncture, electro acupuncture and trigger point therapy.
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What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment that can relieve the symptoms of some physical and psychological conditions and may encourage the patient’s body to heal and repair itself.
Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain; this modifies the way pain signals are received. Furthermore, acupuncture does much more than reduce pain; it has been proven to have a beneficial effect on health and patients often notice an improved sense of wellbeing after treatment.
Modern research shows that acupuncture can affect most of the body’s systems – the nervous system, muscle tone, hormone outputs, circulation, antibody production and allergic responses, as well as the respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.
The practitioner will assess each patient’s case and treatment will be tailored to the individual so it is impossible to give more than a general idea of what treatment might involve. Typically, fine needles are inserted through the skin and left in position briefly or up to 30 minutes, sometimes with manual or electrical stimulation. The number of needles varies but may be only two or three.
Treatment might be once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition responds. A typical course of treatment lasts 5 to 8 sessions.
Uses for acupuncture
Taking the above into consideration, the following are some of the ways in which acupuncture may be effective:
- Pain relief for a wide range of painful conditions. It is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, for example – back, shoulder, neck and leg pain
- It has been used successfully to treat headaches, migraines, trapped nerves, chronic muscle strains, sports injuries and various kinds of arthritic and rheumatic pain
- Functional bowel or bladder problems such as IBS or even mild forms of incontinence
- Menstrual and menopausal symptoms, eg period pains and hot flushes
- Allergies such as hay fever, perennial allergic rhinitis, and some types of allergic rashes such as urticaria and prickly heat
- Some other skin problems such as rashes and ulcers, itching, and some forms of dermatitis
- Sinus problems and chronic catarrh
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Help with stopping smoking
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does give a rough idea of the wide range of conditions that respond to acupuncture treatment. Remember that before starting acupuncture, Dr Romete must be sure of the diagnosis and that all the necessary tests have been carried out which might point to any serious or potentially serious condition, perhaps requiring other forms of treatment. You may require a GP consultation prior to acupuncture treatment being started if Dr Romete feels the diagnosis is unclear.
Does acupuncture have side effects?
You need to be aware that:
- Drowsiness occurs after treatment in a small number of patients, and, if affected, you are advised not to drive
- Minor bleeding or bruising occurs after acupuncture in about 3% of treatments
- Pain during treatment occurs in about 1% of treatments
- Existing symptoms can get worse after treatment (less than 3% of patients). You should tell the doctor about this, but it is usually a good sign
- Fainting can occur in certain patients, particularly at the first treatment
- In addition, if there are particular risks that apply in your case, Dr Romete will discuss these with you
Is there anything your practitioner needs to know?
Apart from the usual medical details, it is important that you let your practitioner know:
- If you have ever experienced a fit, faint or funny turn
- If you have a pacemaker or any other electrical implants
- If you have a bleeding disorder
- If you are taking anti-coagulants or any other medication
- If you have damaged heart valves or have any other particular risk of infection
- Single-use, sterile, disposable needles are used in the clinic
The first consultation will last approximately 1 hour. Follow up consultations can last for up to 30-45 minutes according to the type of acupuncture received.
We generally recommend starting a course of acupuncture with one session a week for six consecutive weeks.
Please refer to our Fee section for information on prices.
Meet our experts
Dr. Cristina Romete
- Qualifications: Msc. | MRCGP. | DOccMed. | DRCOG. | DFFP.
- Location(s): Aberdeen - ROC Private Clinic
- Clinical Interest(s): Complex Medical Conditions, Cardiovascular Disease, Preventative Medicine, Mental Health, Occupational Medicine, Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture
Dr Romete is the founder of ROC Private Clinic and the managing director of ROC Private Clinic and ROC Heath services. She is the Managing Director for ROC Private Clinic and ROC Health Services, a sister company providing Occupational Health Services in UK.