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Our Funding has enabled Leicester Childrens Hospital to set up a new Acupuncture Clinic
An innovative new children’s acupuncture clinic has been set up at the Leicester Children’s Hospital, based at the Royal. The clinic is run by Zoe Forster and Sarah Roberts, Children’s Pain Specialist Nurses who have undergone training with the British Medical Acupuncture Society.
The training was funded by ‘Away with Pain’ (awaywithpain.co.uk), a charity which is passionate about enhancing the care of people who suffer with chronic pain.
Trustee for the charity, Dr Alan Sutton said: "We are delighted that our grant will now enable children to also benefit from acupuncture as part of their specialist care programme.”
Children are offered a six week course of treatment, during weekly 45 minute outpatient appointments.
Zoe explains: “Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in the skin, muscle and other tissues and can produce a variety of effects. It is known to increase the release of the body’s natural pain killers (e.g. endorphins and serotonin) in pathways in the brain and spinal cord. The production of these substances modifies the way pain signals are received by the brain and hence can cause a reduction in pain.”
One patient who has now had three sessions is 11-year-old Kai Dougherty.
He explains: “I’ve tried a lot for my pain but the only thing that really seems to take it away is acupuncture. Even though I’m terrified of needles, I wanted to try it because the pain team, who have been very helpful to me, told me how beneficial it could be. My sessions have all worked tremendously well and I’ve been pain free for periods of time!”
Sarah added: “We are excited to be offering this new and innovative service.
Even though we have only just started the clinics, children like Kai are already reporting benefits of their treatment and there just are no words to describe how great that feels. We plan to formally audit our results and gather more patient feedback to show the effectiveness of the new service.”
Acupuncture is not a cure for pain but a treatment which can help it. The effect of acupuncture differs from person to person, but has shown to benefit people in the following ways:
This can happen after one treatment or following three to four treatments and the effect can last from days to months.
Some people notice they sleep for longer and the quality of their sleep improves.
Patients can feel more relaxed; which in turn may help them to cope better with pain.
Increased sense of wellbeing:
It can make people feel better both physically and emotionally and increase energy levels.