Whats is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine, dating back over 3000 years. Acupuncture helps the body to heal itself by stimulating it through the insertion of fine, hair thin needles into acupuncture points. The Eastern theory behind acupuncture is based on the idea that the body contains channels of energy (meridians) and along these channels there are places where the energy (Qi) collects or pools. Using needles to manipulate the Qi causes a subtle change in the body. The reason why this happens is still uncertain; from a western perspective we know that acupuncture has an effect on brain waves and endorphins. Research has also shown that during needling the hypothalamus is affected, this in turn controls our pituitary gland, which in turn influences our hormones. Increasingly research is showing the benefits of this gentle, restorative treatment. Please see 'News and Offers' for links to research.
From an eastern perspective the belief is that that acupuncture helps to generate balance in the body. For the body to be in health it must be in balance: Yin and Yang must be in harmony. To make this easier to picture, imagine Yang as activity, vigour and abundance, and Yin as quiet, restful and thoughtful. When Yin and Yang are not in balance then the body's energy/Qi is disrupted. There are many reasons why the body's energy becomes disrupted or depleted, these include emotional issues such as stress and anxiety, fear and sadness, lifestyle, overwork, infections, illness, trauma, and hereditary factors. The fundamental aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole person and to treat the underlying weakness in that person in order to recover equilibrium so that the person can enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing for them.
As well as needles there are other methods used during treatment. These will be chosen based on the kind of condition you have.
The needles are stainless steel, single use and sterile. They are inserted into the skin, superficially, in varying points across the body. Sometimes needles are left in for a little while, and sometimes they are inserted and then removed immediately. When the needle is inserted often people feel very little. Sometimes a sensation is experienced - in my experience people often liken it to a dull ache.
Cupping therapy is used to stimulate Qi, usually locally. It is ususally used on the back . It is excellent for muscular problems and interestingly helps to expel coughs and colds. It can cause localised bruising but the process is not painful.