Therapy of the Month – Acupuncture

by Rowan on May 16, 2017

Each month we will be highlighting one of the amazing therapies we offer at Bellenden Therapies as well as showcasing our expert therapist well trained and knowledgeable in that field. This month we are talking to our expert Acupuncturist and one of the newest additions to Bellenden Therapies, Attila Szanto on the health benefits of acupuncture, his professional life and his passion for acupuncture.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine sterile needles into the body to manipulate the flow of Qi in the various pathways or meridians that run through the body. It stimulates biochemical processes that are conducive to self-healing, such as increased blood flow to muscles and organs, the release of endorphins or the removal of metabolic waste products.

Acupuncture helps resolve blockages in the body and restore balance, resulting in a greater sense of health and wellbeing. It can help patients with a range of conditions, including shoulder and back pain, sciatica, headaches, migraines, digestive problems, rhinitis, infertility, stress, anxiety, fatigue and insomnia.

Attila holds a Diploma in Acupuncture and Naturopathy and has worked with patients with a range of conditions including musculoskeletal pain, headaches, infertility, irregular periods, digestive disorders, eczema, hearing loss, cholecystitis, interstitial cystitis and stress related conditions. He holds certificates in Acupuncture for Fertility and Distal Needling Acupuncture for pain conditions. Moreover, as a member of the British Acupuncture and Holistic Medicine Association, he abides by its Code of Ethics and Safe Practice and is also covered by full public indemnity and liability insurance.

How did you get into Acupuncture? What made you decide to pursue this career?

I trained as a social scientist and obtained a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics before discovering my passion for acupuncture. At that time I was quite stressed and anxious about completing my thesis and had regular acupuncture sessions, which had a wonderful relaxing effect on me. More importantly, I realised that pursuing a career in today’s highly pressurised academic environment was not the right thing for me. I wanted to do something more practical and of immediate benefit to others, something that required my “heart” more than my “brain” if that makes sense.

What are the main benefits of getting Acupuncture in your experience?

Acupuncture has been around for at least 3000 years and its potential benefits are vast. Historically, the purpose of acupuncture was to prevent people from getting ill by helping them to maintain harmony of body and mind before any gross physical symptoms arise. These days most patients who walk through my clinic door come because they already have a physical complaint, be it muscular pain, digestive problems, headaches or irregular periods, and a few sessions of acupuncture can sometimes make a huge difference. Others come because they have a lot of stress in their lives or some long-standing unresolved emotional issues resulting in insomnia, IBS, migraines or other symptoms. In my experience, physical and emotional complaints are often closely linked to each other and it’s a fantastic benefit of acupuncture that it can look at these aspects in a holistic way.

Do you have a special focus/specialisation in your practice?

I have treated patients with a wide range of conditions but have a special interest in musculoskeletal pain and fertility and have attended specialist courses in these areas. Fertility is a particularly complex topic and there are studies that show the benefits of acupuncture, for example in cases of “unexplained” infertility that account for nearly 25% of all infertility cases.

On a more general level, I always try to see the symptoms that my patients present with in a wider context and to connect with the other aspects of their being. Understanding what people are up to in their lives informs both my diagnosis and treatment principle and it sometimes makes all the difference between a good and an excellent session.

Finally, I have a special interest in Chinese nutritional therapy and often recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to my patients, which can greatly enhance the effects of acupuncture. It’s also nice for patients to take away something from the acupuncture session and to assume responsibility for their own healing process.

What is your favourite thing about practicing acupuncture?

That I never know who will be walking through my clinic door. Even patients whom I have known for a long time may present with completely new symptoms each time. Human beings have a limitless potential for change and it seems that the less we identify someone with their illness the more likely it is that they will heal from it. This is fascinating and requires me to always be present to the patient in order to find the most appropriate treatment at any particular moment in time.

What has been the highlight in your career so far?

It always moves me when I witness a significant improvement to someone’s symptoms in the course of treatments, particularly when dealing with a long-standing complaint that is both physical and emotional in nature. Often, these improvements are preceded by a spark of insight that the patient has and that completely changes their attitude to their illness. It is usually in these moments that I “know” that someone is on the way of healing.

I am currently also supervising final year acupuncture students at the College of Naturopathic Medicine and find it very rewarding to share my understanding of acupuncture with them.

What is your favourite therapy (besides acupuncture)?

Recently, I find myself exploring the benefits of aromatherapy and look forward to an exchange with my colleagues at Bellenden Therapies about this wonderful healing modality.

What do you like to do for fun (any hobbies or activities)?

I enjoy meditating and have attended a couple of short retreats over the past years. I also love travelling to Europe and further. I have lived in four European countries and try to visit my friends and family who live there at least once per year.

Visit our Acupuncture page for more information or to book an appointment with Attila. He is also running a special offer where you receive £15 off your first treatment.   See our special offers page for more details.

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