Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine that has been used for over 2000 years. It is based on the philosophy that our health is dependent upon the flow of the body's energy or ‘Qi’ (pronounced chee).
When the body's equilibrium becomes imbalanced and Qi is depleted, disturbed or blocked and does not flow freely, pain and illness may result. There may be many reasons for the occurrence of this imbalance: physical and emotional stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common.
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of ultra fine sterile, single use, stainless steel needles into specific points on the body in order to help restore the body's equilibrium and simulate the body's natural healing response. The needles are either withdrawn immediately or left in for up to 20 minutes depending on the desired treatment outcome.
Other techniques may also be used to aid with treatments such as;
- Moxibustion - This involves the application of heat to acupuncture points or channels using a herb (Moxa) to warm and nourish qi and relax muscles.
- Tuina - This is a gentle therapeutic Chinese massage that can stimulate acupuncture points, encourage the flow of qi and relieve muscle tension.
- Guasha - This involves rubbing the skin with and appropriate tool to stimulate blood flow and clear stagnant qi.
- Cupping - This involves 'cups' being attached to the skin using a vacuum which stimulates the flow of blood and helps clear stagnant qi.
What Conditions Can it Help?
Traditionally, acupuncture is used to treat illness, pain and maintain people's health and wellbeing . It focuses on improving the overall well being of the patient, alongside the treatment of specific symptoms. As no two people are the same, each person will be treated with an individual treatment plan.
For a list of conditions that acupuncture can help with please click here to view factsheets from British Acupuncture Council.
What Benefits can be Expected?