Acupuncture Explored by Elaine Otrofanowei of Eco Therapies in Leigh on Sea Essex
Wikipedia defines Acupuncture as "the stimulation of specific acupoints along the skin of the body involving various methods such as the application of heat, pressure, or laser or penetration of thin needles. It is a form of complementary and alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians."
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) our energies circulate through a complex system of channels / meridians which form an intricate web of energy pathways throughout the entire body, reaching every level and connecting all areas. By inserting fine needles into these channels, the acupuncturist can affect the flow of energy and therefore the functioning of the body.
When there is trauma, emotional issues, stress or illness this will have an impact on qi, by inserting needles into the channels/meridians we can influence the flow to enable the body to heal and balance itself.
From a western medicine point of view, acupuncture affects the nervous system sending a messages to the brain to aid the release of pain killing bio-chemicals such as endorphins. Though the exact mechanisms are still not fully understood and research is continuing.
Acupuncture is suitable for all ages, including babies, children and the elderly. It is a holistic treatment which can be used alongside conventional western medicine.
Acupuncture has been used to treat many conditions: nausea, migraines, back and knee pain, bladder problems, insomnia, tiredness, IBS, hayfever, female health problems.
Many clinical studies have been carried out on the use of acupuncture in the treatment of many conditions, often with very positive results and more information regarding this research and conclusions can be found on the website of the British Acupuncture Council.
What to expect during your Acupuncture treatment
The part of the treatment involves detailed questioning about your symptoms, lifestyle and health issues. After taking the pulse and observing the tongue to build up a complete picture of your condition, a diagnosis is then made and a treatment plan devised.
Sometimes patients feel a sharpness or tingling on insertion of the needle but this is always momentary and dies away quickly. For a few seconds, patients may then also experience a numbness or heaviness when the needle makes contact with the energy at the point. This is a positive indication to the practitioner that the Qi has been influenced.
Needles are usually left in for up to twenty minutes, during which time most patients experience a feeling of calm and relaxation. Immediately after treatment, especially the first time, it is common to feel quite tired.
Other therapies may also be used in your treatment, such as cupping, moxibustion and tui na massage.