In Chinese Medicine we take 12 different pulses, found at the wrists, representing all the major organs of the body and there are 28 different ways to describe them. Reading the pulses takes years of practise and gives the practitioner valuable information about a persons state of health and how best to treat them.
THE ORIGINS OF ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine. Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world. In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them.
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture works to help maintain your body’s natural state of balance thus enabling you to achieve your optimum health.
It involves the insertion of very fine needles into acupuncture points found along channels of energy that circulate all over the body. “Qi” or “vital energy”, circulates in these channels and the acupuncture points are manipulated in various ways to obtain harmony and balance both in the pulses and in your health. This vital energy (Qi) can become unbalanced due to our lifestyles e.g. emotional and mental stress, too little or too much exercise, inappropriate diet, exposure to extreme weather conditions, accidents, toxins to name but a few. When Qi becomes unbalanced it results in symptoms of pain and ultimately illness. Traditional Acupuncture can help to address such signs and symptoms and help to restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony. Treatment is aimed at root causes as well as addressing the signs and symptoms of your complaints. You are likely to notice other niggling health issues resolve as your main complaint improves.
Acupuncture also uses “Moxibustion” a herb (Mugwort) that is burned and is used to warm the body where there is excess cold causing problems or to stimulate acupuncture points with the gentle warmth. “Cupping” is another technique where glass cups are attached to the body using gentle suction to clear tight muscles, this creates a very soothing sensation. Various other techniques are used as appropriate, but suffice to say that acupuncture doesn’t rely solely on needles to bring about a healthy state in mind, body and spirit. “Guasha” is another technique which is almost like combing the body with a tortoise shell made into various shapes, it helps to clear knotted muscles.
TWO STYLES OF ACUPUNCTURE
Anna practises two styles of acupuncture, Five Elements (FE) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). FE is more focussed on treating the emotions and mental well-being of patients and over time brings about a profound sense of calm and inner peace. We can be one of five elements, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Water and these are at the core of who we are. Diagnosing someone’s Element influences which acupuncture points are most suitable for each individual. TCM is used more for controlling and/or correcting more medical pathologies and their symptoms in a more immediate way i.e. fevers, strokes and musculoskeletal problems like arthritis or back pain.
I practise both forms in conjunction with each other, this combination delivers a powerful form of treatment to address a very wide spectrum of complaints.
WHO HAS ACUPUNCTURE?
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee, back pain, breach babies, auto-immune diseases, digestive complaints, insomnia, menopausal symptoms and many more. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell or below par. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of well-being. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children, pregnant mothers and the elderly. It can be used very effectively alongside conventional medicine.
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE DO FOR ME?
Some people turn to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health and as a preventative measure to stop their health deteriorating, or simply to improve their general sense of well-being. Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person, in addition to specific symptoms, it can be effective for a wide range of conditions.
The acupuncturist treats the person, as well as their condition, so each patient’s treatment plan will be unique to them. You can always call Anna to discuss any concerns you may have about treatment.
Acupuncture can help with nausea, vomiting and low back pain and breach babies can be turned using moxa sticks (a herb burned to create warmth on acupuncture points). See the following Fact Sheet on the British Acupuncture Council’s website: http://member.acupuncture.org.uk/members-research-fact-sheets/1610-acupuncture-and-childbirth.html.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON ACUPUNCTURE
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) regulates acupuncture practice in the UK, it is a voluntary regulatory, professional body, that was identified by the UK Government in 2011, as robustly regulating acupuncture in the UK; so much so that the Government stated it was unnecessary to introduce statutory regulation of acupuncture in the UK. See the BAcC website: www.acupuncture.org.uk.
You can get more information on current scientific research into the effectiveness of acupuncture by visiting the BAcC website.
www.acupuncture.org.uk (British Acupuncture Council)