About Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the insertion of very fine needles at key points (known as acupuncture points) into the body.

How does acupuncture work?

The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Qi (pronounced chee) that is present in every living creature. Qi circulates throughout the body and vital organs along specific pathways called channels or meridians. If our Qi is strong we are able to ward off illness and to enjoy good health and vitality, whilst any disturbance to the flow or balance of Qi may result in pain, dysfunction, or ill health. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a number of factors such as emotional states, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma. By inserting ultra fine needles into specific points on the channels, obstructions in the flow of Qi can be unblocked, the body’s own healing response can be stimulated and balance restored.

Western understanding of acupuncture

There is increasing understanding of how acupuncture works in Western medical terms. Modern studies have revealed that the nervous system is stimulated by the needles, releasing chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord and brain, which reduce our experience of pain and influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

acupuncture model

Acupuncture styles

I am trained in two different styles of acupuncture, which provides me with a wider range of treatment possibilities, depending on the individual’s needs:

TCM acupuncture

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

This is the most commonly practised style of acupuncture. TCM provides a pragmatic and structured approach to diagnosing and treating illness.

This style of acupuncture:

Is good for treating both chronic and acute conditions
Is particularly effective in the treatment of pain and for musculo- skeletal conditions. Concentrates more on the symptoms of a patient’s illness.

five element acupuncture

Five Element

Classical five element acupuncture is thought to stem from ancient acupuncture theory from the period of around 200 BC.

The focus is on establishing and strengthening the underlying weakness of the patient to relieve symptoms and prevent illness.

This style of acupuncture:

  • Is particularly good for mental/emotional conditions
  • Focuses on treating the root of the patients’ problems; symptoms are seen as signs that the body, mind and spirit are out of balance.
  • Is ideal for treating chronic conditions, especially if resulting from the emotions or constitutional predispositions
  • Is useful for patients requiring a gentle, minimal intervention, as only a few needles are used in each treatment
  • Can be used as preventative medicine

Why have acupuncture?

Chinese medicine views every aspect of a person – body, mind and emotions – as part of one complete circle. All the symptoms are seen in relation to each other and the aim of acupuncture is to improve the overall well being of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms. I look at the correlation between the patients’ signs and symptoms which enables me to establish the key issues of the problem, linking them together to provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.

Acupuncture focuses on the body’s innate ability to heal itself. It treats the underlying causes of disease as well as the signs and symptoms of specific conditions. Treating the root of the condition can lead to a more permanent resolution of your problems. The benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels and vitality, better sleep, greater enjoyment of life, greater confidence, as well as an enhanced sense of overall well being.

Each patient is unique and as such, treatments are tailored specifically to each individual; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture also emphasizes the importance of self-help as part of treatment, involving patients in their own treatment and encouraging them to take control of their own health. Often treatment at a sufficiently early stage could prevent a mild discomfort from turning into a major illness.