Acupuncture Services: What is Acupuncture?
Our Acupuncture services are offered as part of the Oriental Medicine system of healing which has been practiced in China and other Far Eastern countries for well over 2000 years. Although often described as solely as a means for pain relief, acupuncture is fact used to treat all kinds of disharmonies and illnesses that affect a wide range of people of all ages – adults, elderly people and even children.
According to the traditional Chinese philosophy of Yin & Yang, our health is dependent on the body’s warming, motivating energy – “Qi” (Yang) – moving in a smooth, balanced and harmonious way through a series of channels beneath the skin known as meridians, in harmony with and nourished by the Blood & Fluids (Yin), which are in turn moved by the Qi. In fact, the theory of the acupuncture meridians is one of the most significant discoveries of Chinese medicine: the meridians together serve as a dynamic web that unites the human body as an integrated whole. When there is disharmony in that web the smooth flow of Qi is disrupted, affecting body and mind – and this includes emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief. By inserting very fine needles into these lines of energy an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance by reversing the spiral of disharmony and setting the body back on the road to recovery and good health. At the same time, moxibustion – the burning of a warming energizing herb on the needle – can help to vitalize the meridian system and counterbalance internal cold which inhibits the body’s proper functioning.
Who Has Acupuncture and Why?
Many different people, male & female, young & old come to an acupuncturist in the first instance for help with specific symptoms or conditions. These might include anxiety states, arthritis, asthma, back pain, circulatory problems, depression, facial paralysis, fibrositis, headaches, high blood pressure, indeterminate aches & pains, infertility, menstrual problems, migraines, pregnancy & childbirth conditions, rheumatism, sciatica, skin conditions, ulcers and many, many more. Acupuncture is a safe treatment for all. It has proved to be effective in pregnancy management & preparation for childbirth as well as an aid to induction when overdue. It can also be helpful for people trying to overcome addictions such as those related to smoking, alcohol, food or drugs.
Some people have regular acupuncture as a preventative measure to strengthen their constitutions, or because they feel unwell in themselves without being ‘ill’ in a Western sense. Acupuncture can also be used alongside conventional medicine in the treatment of acute and chronic disease, and acupuncture and herbal medicine can also help cancer patients who are being given chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that they can lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall functioning and well-being.
What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?
Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to the hollow needles used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles are much finer and are not hollow, and often the patient does not even feel them inserted. The sensation induced when the needle “contacts the qi” below the skin is often described as a tingling or dull ache, and this shows that the acupuncture point on the meridian has been successfully connected with and the needles can work effectively. The sterile needles are used once only and then safely disposed of.
Each person and each condition is different and therefore the number of treatments required depends on the individual. Generally speaking, three to six treatments is an average, but that can be exceeded, and sometimes one or two treatments are all that is necessary. Preparation for childbirth preferably requires three treatments prior to labour, and perhaps two or three more if the baby is overdue.
What Do We the Acupuncturist’s, Do?
After first discerning the underlying patterns of disharmony with each new patient, by taking a case history, looking at the tongue, feeling the pulses on both wrists and pressing points on meridian pathways, I then work to restore physical and emotional well-being primarily through the use of acupuncture (rebalancing & stimulating energy) moxibustion (warming energy), acupressure (moving energy) and/or herbal medicine in raw herb, concentrated powder or tincture, as is appropriate for the patient and their condition.