Healing touch: A Q&A with London’s leading acupuncturist Kate Winstanley
Kate Winstanley has gained the reputation as one of London’s leading acupuncturists. She has become highly-sought after for her powerful health-restoring treatments.
Known for her lasting results and inspiring treatments, particularly in the areas of fertility and stress-related symptoms, she is respected by medical professionals, is a regular contributor to press articles and has appeared on ITV and Channel 4 as an expert commentator.
We sat down with Kate, who has a clinic in Fulham, to find out more about acupuncture and the conditions it can treat.
Q: Aside from needles, many people may not know much about acupuncture. What is the purpose of it?
Acupuncture is becoming more and more popular as people start to take responsibility for their health. In years gone by we would have obligingly taken medication from our GPs, nowadays people want to address the underlying reasons for their illness and are turning to holistic treatments such as acupuncture. Acupuncture has been shown (using MRI scans) to stimulate the body’s healing response, by balancing our hormones and our nervous system. A balanced body is a healthy body so after a course of treatment symptoms start to disappear and the patient reports feeling better physically and emotionally.
Q: Is it painful to get acupuncture?
No! The needles we use are tiny, extremely fine. When they are tapped in you may feel a slight ache but not painful. They are left in for 15 minutes and most of the time when I return to the patient they are asleep or deeply relaxed. Acupuncture is a very calming treatment.
Q: What are some ailments that acupuncture can help with?
Acupuncture treatment stimulates the body’s healing response so it can help with a wide-range of ailments. The most common ailments I treat in clinic are infertility, IBS, headaches and back pain. I also see people for mental health related symptoms such as anxiety, stress and insomnia.
Q: Is acupuncture better used to deal with short-term pain, or does it help manage chronic pain? For example, if I have arthritis, would it help?
If someone comes to me with a cricked neck that just happened overnight I would expect that a treatment would help straight away. If someone came to me with longer term lower back pain I would expect that they would need a few treatments to manage the pain. This is because a chronic problem has gone deeper into the body so takes a little bit longer to clear.
Q: How many treatments do you need?
I like to see my patients for a course of six treatments. Six is the magic number! The reason for this is because it takes a few sessions to ‘wipe the slate clean’ and then a few to strengthen and realign the body. The treatments build a momentum so the healing is very powerful by the sixth session. After this I like to see patients around 4 times a year to keep them well, like having an MOT.
Q: Does acupuncture take the place of other medical treatments?
Research shows that Acupuncture can work better than medical intervention for some ailments. In other cases it can be a complimentary treatment to ease side-effects, the nausea from chemotherapy for example. There are of course times when it Western medicine should be your first port of call so always ask your acupuncturist and seek medical advice if you are unsure.
Q: I’ve heard that Facial Acupuncture is the new ‘anti-ageing’ treatment?
Indeed. I specialise in Facial Acupuncture which is a hugely popular and effective treatment dubbed the ‘Natural Facelift’. People are turning away from the invasive, toxic treatments to a treatment that is natural and effective at lifting, plumping and smoothing fine lines. Many of my patients are in the public eye so they love the youthful, healthy glow they get from my Signature Facial.
Q: Is it safe for everyone to get acupuncture?
Acupuncture treatment is a safe, non-toxic, gentle treatment that works with the body to re-tune and re-align. There are no side-effects. Acupuncture is even safe during pregnancy – there are just some acupuncture points that we avoid using as they can stimulate labour. It is important when looking for an acupuncturist to check they are a member of the British Acupuncture Council (The BAcC) so you know that your acupuncturist is fully qualified and adheres to the strict codes of safety and conduct.