WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing developed in China more than 2,000 years ago. It treats the body as a whole and not just the symptoms in isolation. It is conducted by inserting a very fine needle into specific areas on the skin known as “acupuncture points” located along the channels where the energy, life force or qi flow freely. Each channel is connected to an organ. When the energy is flowing freely and smoothly along these channels the body is balanced and in good form. If the energy becomes stagnant or deficient the body loses its balance and can become ill.
HOW IS THE TREATMENT CARRIED OUT?
Patients are asked specific questions relating to e.g. sleep, digestion, bowel movements, lifestyle and diet. These questions will aid diagnosis in a relatively short length of time.
Pulse and Tongue Diagnosis:
Checking the pulse will give an indication of how each organ is functioning. Looking at the tongue will enable to check if the body is hot or cold, as it reflects the state of the body organs in relation to Qi and Blood.
All needles are fine “thread like” hygienic needles, single-use, sterile needles and comply with a high standard of hygiene, set by the British Acupuncture Council code of conduct.
A prick of the skin might be felt when the needle is inserted although most people won’t even feel it. A dull sensation might be felt for a while, which is a good indication of the Qi movement.
Each treatment is tailored to the patients individual needs by trying to find and treat the root cause of the problem or the symptoms, the patient will gradually feel better physically and emotionally.
Other Tools used in Treatment:
Moxa: Is dried leaves (artemesia vulgaris altiflora) similar to Mugwort, these leaves are ground and aired. Moxa comes in different shapes as it could be used loose by placing directly on the point and burn it slightly to give a warm sensation before needling. Or as a stick (cigar shape) to be burnt from one side and placed close to the skin to warm a large area of the body, like joints, neck, shoulders and for sciatic pain.
Gua Sha: or body scraping, the use of a very smooth Jade stone applied over some oil (containing sage, ginger, lemon grass and basil) on the affected area and used to scrape the skin until it is red with red spots. GuaSha treatment is great for moving Blood and Qi, by scraping the surface of the skin the body will throw out the old blood and the pathogen is released. It can be used for cold symptoms, sun stroke or any muscular strain or tension. The only side effect is the skin bruising, which could take 3 days to clear.
Cupping: By using glass cups or plastic cups to stimulate Blood and Qi, expel the pathogen if it is wind, cold or damp by sucking the skin in the cup to release the pathogen. The skin bruising will take 3 to 7 days to clear.