What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional medicine that has been practised in China and the far east for thousands of years. It has been developed, tested, researched and refined over this time into a treatment option accessed by increasing numbers of patients in the West.
Studies are mounting with evidence-based clinical research in discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health conditions.
Many people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ pain, headaches and low back pain (in 2021 NICE recommended acupuncture for chronic pain). Others choose acupuncture when they can feel their body or mind are out of balance (insomnia, digestion, headaches) but have no obvious medical diagnosis and western treatment has not addressed the problem. GP’s often call these cases ‘heart sink patients’ ie their heart sinks when the patient returns for the sixth time and they have already explored all the Western options of how to help. This is not a criticism of GP’s or junior doctors, nurses etc its rather an example of how sophisticated the body can be and how a multi-disciplinary approach can be the solution.
Another use for acupuncture is a way to unwind and it enhances people’s ability to cope with stress. Modern life is an an assault on the senses and we are not particularly skilled at turning off our ingrained ‘fight or flight’ button. I see fantastic results in the clinic in taking tension down a notch or two.
The focus for a traditional acupuncturist is on the patient as an individual and not just their specific illness, and all symptoms are seen as part of an interconnected pattern. I see this as the best way to tackle an issue.
Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points which are said to affect the flow of your body’s qi ( energy) although the term energy is a simplistic way to explain how the meridians move the energy around to where it is needed.
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