Traditional acupuncture forms a part of traditional Chinese medicine in which the basis of diagnosis and treatment is that the mind and body should be in perfect balance. Originating in China, this ancient system of healing has developed over 2,500 years and today is widely used and accepted all over the world. Traditional acupuncture is a gentle and effective treatment that focuses on helping the whole person, aiming to improve their entire health and wellbeing.
Many Western practitioners such as Doctors, therapists, Chiropractors etc use acupuncture to provide specific treatment to an injured area.
Traditional acupuncture is a branch of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) - a tried and tested healthcare system that has been practised for thousands of years in China and the Far East. It has been developed, tested, researched and refined over centuries to give us a complex and detailed understanding of the body's energetic balance.The first known book of Chinese Medicine, the Classic of Internal Medicine of the Yellow Emperor, dates back to between the first century BC and the first century AD. All styles of acupuncture currently practised around the world trace their roots back to this text.
There are two distinct versions of Acupuncture, Eastern and Western.
Western acupuncture follows from a medical diagnosis. It involves stimulating nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body. This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It's these naturally released substances that are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture. A course of acupuncture usually creates longer lasting pain relief than when a single treatment is used.
Eastern traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or "life force", flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced "chee"). Traditional acupuncturists believe that when Qi doesn't flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. The use of acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health. Other TCM (traditional chinese medicine) can be used to help diagnose symptoms such as that of the tongue, ears, throat and stomach.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating a variety of conditions. Some are listed here below.
An initial acupuncture session usually lasts 40-60 minutes and involves an assessment of your general health, medical history and a physical examination, followed by insertion of the acupuncture needles.
There is no recommended amount of sessions needed, Benefit should be felt after the first session and it is usual to require between 3-10 further sessions. some clients come once a month or on a as and when basis after that.
The needles are inserted into specific places on the body, which practitioners call acupuncture points. During the session, you'll usually be asked to sit or lie down. You may also be asked to remove some clothes so the practitioner can access certain parts of your body. The needles used are fine and are usually a few centimetres long. They are single-use, pre-sterilised needles that are disposed of immediately after use.
Acupuncture practitioners choose specific points to place the needles based on your condition. Usually between 5-10 needles are used but depending on the condition a lot more could be used. The needles may be inserted just under the skin, or deeper so they reach muscle tissue. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for a length of time lasting from a few minutes up to around 30 minutes. You may feel a tingling or a dull ache when the needles are inserted but shouldn't experience any significant pain.