Traditional acupuncture predates modern science and medicine by thousands of years. It has been developed and refined over centuries to give a detailed understanding of the body’s energetic balance and its physical functions. The underlying principle of Chinese medicine is that all the body’s functions are inter-dependent and connected by the flow of ‘qi’ (energy) around the body. Illness and pain – whether physical or emotional – occur when the flow of qi is impaired.
Treatment focuses on all factors that contribute to disease and not just the presenting symptoms. Because every patient is unique, two people with the same western diagnosis will have different treatment plans because how their illness has developed can be different.
Traditional acupuncturists are trained in Chinese medicine theory and understand the importance of observing and interpreting subtle signs and physical changes in order to identify the precise nature of imbalance. A treatment plan for each patient is designed using selected acupuncture points to relieve both the immediate symptoms and the underlying root cause of the problem. The overall diagnosis is further refined through continual cross-referencing during the first treatment and all subsequent treatments as the patient’s body responds to treatment.
Ultra-fine, sterile disposable needles are inserted into carefully selected acupuncture points on the body. The acupuncturist’s intention is to regulate qi, stimulate the body’s own healing response and restore its natural balance. The needles act like ‘switches’ that affect the flow of qi through the web of acupuncture channels (or energy meridians) that cover and connect across the whole body.
Acupuncture can be very effective for conditions that don’t seem to respond well to conventional medicine and it can also be safely combined with western medicine to benefit patients with a range of conditions.
Many people have regular ‘top-up’ sessions of acupuncture which act as preventative healthcare by improving and maintaining overall health and wellbeing.
A list of the types of conditions for which patients seek acupuncture treatment can be found here on the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.