Acupuncture is a complete healthcare system which originated in China and the Far East. It has been widely used for thousands of years, and is still increasing in popularity today.
Acupuncture is part of the ancient medical practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It works on the belief that there is a powerful energy flowing in our bodies. This energy plays an important role in the functioning of all our bodily processes, including the functioning of all major organs. The Chinese call it ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) and the energy flows along invisible pathways called meridians. When there is an imbalance of energy – the flow is interrupted or blocked – and illness occurs.
Acupuncture works to correct this imbalance. To do this, the acupuncture practitioner will directly stimulate each organ’s energy, by placing fine needles into the channels that connect with those organs. The acupuncture needles are often placed into arms or legs, at specific points on each of the meridian channels, which then stimulate the organs to correct the imbalance and to restore health.
An acupuncture treatment is commonly pain-free. The thickness of acupuncture needles are compared to human hair and the acupuncture practitioner skilfully inserts them with a quick tap. Some patients may feel a tingling sensation, a slight numbness, or a mild ache, but this simply means that the body is having a positive response to the acupuncture treatment. Most patients will feel relaxed during and after an acupuncture treatment.
Other traditional Chinese medicine may be used to complement an acupuncture treatment including:
A massage which stimulates the flow of energy and relaxes the muscles before acupuncture begins.
Traditional Chinese herbs are rolled up like a cigar, lit, and held over particular acupuncture points around the body. Its warmth stimulates circulation.
After the acupuncture treatment, suction cups are placed over the skin to create a vacuum. This works to break up any stagnant energy and circulate the blood flow.