What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical techniques in the world, originating in China more than 3,000 years ago.
All traditional Chinese medicines are based on the theoretical concepts of qi (pronounced ‘chee’), yin and yan, and meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine sees the body as a complete system which has systems within it; illness or ‘dis-ease’ arises due to imbalances and disharmony in the systems.
The intent of acupuncture is to stimulate the body, release energy blocks, and re-establish normal equilibrium, thereby facilitating the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Acupuncture affects people differently, leaving some energized while others feel relaxed.
The practise involves the insertion of hair-thin, disposable metal needles through the skin in points on the body’s meridians. Acupuncture needles are solid, usually made of stainless steel, and are extremely flexible. The small diameter and contoured shape of the acupuncture needle allows it to be inserted easily and painlessly a few millimetres into the skin.
What can an acupuncturist help with?
Acupuncture has helped many people deal with health problems. Click here
to visit the British Acupuncture Council website and view their research paper.
What to expect
Although many people associate acupuncture with needles, our traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturists will also use techniques such as massage, cupping, qi gong, moxibustion, herbs and nutrition.
During the first consultation, the practitioner aims to determine the nature of the disharmony in the patient’s mind/body by careful questioning and observation. A detailed understanding is required of the patient’s symptoms, past medical and family history, lifestyle and diet, behaviour of all the systems in the body such as digestion and circulation, sleep patterns, and emotional feelings. Diagnosis may also include examination of the tongue for its structure, colour and coating and of the pulses at the wrists, which are felt for their quality, rhythm and strength.
Having decided on the cause or causes of the problem, the points and appropriate method of treatment are selected according to various rules governing the movement of Qi in the body.
During acupuncture, needles are either inserted for a second or two or left in place for up to 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the effect required. During this time there may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation.