Wednesday, October 16, 2019

What is Acupuncture

According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body's motivating energy - known as Qi - moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of meridians (channels) beneath the skin. By inserting fine needles into specific points on these channels of energy (meridians), an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural balance. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a number of factors. These include emotional states (such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief), poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections and trauma. The principal aim of acupuncture in treating the whole person is to recover the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.

Approaches to treatment & diagnosis

Traditionally, acupuncture is a holistic approach to the management of disease as well as the maintenance of health. The skill of an acupuncturist lies in their ability to make a traditional diagnosis from what is often a complex pattern of disharmony. The exact pattern and degree of disharmony is unique to each individual and, with traditional acupuncture, will be treated as such with a personalised treatment plan.

Adjunctive modalities of treatment

In addition to insertion of fine needles, an acupuncturist may also use the following modalities:

moxaMoxibustion where  Moxa (mugwort)  is used to stimulate channels and points. The heat from this herb is warming, soothing and extremely relaxing. It is very effective for releasing tightness in muscles, relating tension and invigorating the flow of Qi. It is also know to turn babies in breech position.


cuppingCupping involves special suction placed on the skin. The suction helps to increase the flow of Qi in the channels. Cupping improves circulation, releases tight muscles and is especially effective for tension and stiffness in the back and shoulders.


earElectro Stimulation involves use of a mild pulsating electrical current to stimulate the acupuncture points and is mostly used for chronic pain or neurological disorders.

Ear Acupuncture has been successful in reducing both symptoms of withdrawal and craving from drugs and alcohol.



How Safe Is Acupuncture?

The WHO, the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and various government reports have studied and commented on the efficacy of acupuncture. There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles. Serious side effects occur very rarely; less than one per ten thousand treatments. All needles used are sterile and disposed of once used and, hence there is no risk of infectious diseases through the use of acupuncture needles.