Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

traditional chinese medicineAcupuncture Therapy is a complex medical system that is used as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine to diagnose and treat many illnesses and diseases ranging from headaches & pain to hypertension.

Acupuncture is the primary form of healthcare in China and is used extensively in the hospitals for a wide range of conditions, as well as a preventative measure. The treatment involves the insertion of extremely fine, sterile needles into pre-determined points on the body’s surface. Acupuncture is a natural therapy with few side effects.

The aim of Acupuncture is to treat the body as a whole and promote its healing ability, thus restoring its natural balance and eliminating ill health. The Traditional Chinese belief is that the body’s energy which they call Qi (Chee) can become obstructed and result in illness. Acupuncture, by promoting the body’s Qi, can restore health and balance to the body. The yin yang symbol is often used to represent balance in TCM.

Western Medicine tells us that Acupuncture lines lie alongside the nerve pathways. It is believed that by stimulating these points it causes the release of endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins are the body’s chemical messengers which affect our perception of pain and can reduce it. This is why Acupuncture is widely utilized in the treatment of pain. Acupuncture is the World’s Largest Drug Free Pain Relief Therapy and the World Health Organization recognizes it for treating all types of pain. (eg. Arthritis, back pain, sciatica, neck pain, menstrual pain, headache and migraine)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

chinese medicineYour Acupuncture Treatment will include Lifestyle Advise, Dietary Advice, Tongue Diagnosis and Pulse taking. Moxibustion, Cupping, Electro- Acupuncture, Auricular Acupuncture and Heat Therapy are utilized when the Acupuncturist believes them necessary to the condition being treated and when the patient is comfortable with the therapy. They are included in the cost of the Acupuncture treatment and never incur an additional charge.

Facial Rejuvenation / Facial Acupuncture – This is different to a regular Acupuncture treatment which uses many tiny needles on face. The procedure is longer than a standard session and is therefore more expensive.

A brief explanation on some of the above items are listed below:

  • Tongue Diagnosis: The tongue is examined as it can tell us information about the persons health e.g. digestion problems
  • Moxibustion: Moxa is a Chinese herb which is applied externally and never comes in contact with the skin, the patient experience a warming sensation
    when this treatment is applied. It is used in the clinic mainly for pain conditions
  • Cupping: The function of cupping is to promote the flow of blood to an area, relieve tension/ restriction from the muscles; e.g. it’s used for painful,
    stiff or swollen joints and muscles, shoulder and back tension and pain, sports injuries, colds and flu. Cupping is a method that uses a plastic suction
    cup or a glass cup over the skin to create suction. Patients are advised that temporary bruising will occur after cupping but it will not be painful like a
    normal bruise. Cupping, by promoting the circulation and drawing toxins to the surface of the skin, also facilitates elimination of toxins by the body and increases the flexibility of the muscles. This is not a painful procedure and is frequently required in the clinic.
  • Electro-Acupuncture: Electro-Acupuncture is the use of small electrical currents through the Acupuncture needles. Electro- stimulation is often used in conjunction with Acupuncture to enhance the treatment. It is often used in clinic for pain conditions like arthritis, back pain, sciatica and many sport
    injuries. It is also used for muscle strain, Bell’s Palsy and numbness. It will accelerate tissue healing, reduce inflammation, oedema and swelling – it is
    not painful for the patient.
  • Heat Therapy: This procedure involves the use of a heat lamp over a specific part of the body, i.e. lower back or knee and is often used for injuries,
    arthritis, back pain or when a patient feels cold in the joints or back. Heat therapy is often used in place of Moxibustion.
  • Auricular Acupuncture: Points on the ear can be needled or seeds on tiny plasters can be used to stimulate the point without the use of needles.
    Patients are sometimes sent home with the ear seeds in place and can stimulate the points themselves when they experience excess pain or cravings.

This is often used in Pain Management, alcohol & drug addiction and/or stress relief. Occasionally the ear seeds are used for patients who fear needles.

The Basis Of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are being considered as an alternative medicine and are treated with much skepticism in the West. Regardless of the skepticism of modern science toward acupuncture and Chinese medicine, this therapy is progressively more popular. It has also found to be very effective in treating a whole host of ailments.

From treating allergies, acne, obesity, and joint pain there seems to be endless opportunities for acupuncture to perk up the quality of people’s lives. Though the method of treating illness with acupuncture may give the impression unscientific but in essence it relies on the concept of balance to heal the body. It in actual fact is something that makes sense when you reflect about it.

The origin of acupuncture and chinese medicine is the idea that there is an energy flow that runs throw our body. This idea is related to the concept of charkas in the body that is utilized in Indian medicine and yoga. It is believed that if the energy in the body is insufficient, unbalanced, or troubled then the body becomes ill.

Our symptoms are a signal that something has interrupted the natural flow of energy in the body. In order to correct this acupuncture and Chinese medicine is used. Acupuncture involves the insertion of needles into certain points of the body. A number of people believe that this will helps to release endorphins in the body and it can help to alleviate stress in some cases and calm the body.

There are certain pathways in the body that facilitate to channel the energy in the body. These pathways can turn out to be blocked, unbalanced, or deficient in some way. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can then be used to restore the pathways to their proper balance. From time to time herbs are burned and the heat and properties of the herbs can help with the acupuncture therapy to restore the balance of the body.

Acupuncture Needles

Though acupuncture needles may seem scary to some people but they are a necessary part of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The needles used for treatment will vary in length, width, and shape. Very much depending on where the needle will be inserted and the purpose of the treatment the needle will vary. Occasionally electrical impulses in very small amounts are being sent through the needles. This type of acupuncture is generally used when treating pain or trying to prevent pain.

As mentioned before acupuncture and Chinese medicine often use herb as part of a treatment. Moxibustion is also a form of therapy used in conjunction with acupuncture. Heat from burning herbs is pressed onto each acupuncture points. This form of treatment is said to be very successful in treating asthma, arthritic disorders, and bronchitis.

Why use Acupuncture for better health and pain management?
  • The World Health Organisation states the benefits of Acupuncture therapy for many diseases.
  • Acupuncture is the world’s largest drug-free pain relief therapy
  • The side effects from Acupuncture are very few in the hands of a trained Acupuncturist
  • Acupuncture can complement your current medical treatment
  • Acupuncture will not interfere with your current medication
  • Acupuncture has many benefits; many use it to maintain health thus preventing ill health in the first instance
  • Each Acupuncture treatment is tailored to the individual and the Acupuncturist will work alongside the patient and will take on board their concerns and questions
  • Acupuncture is a natural therapy
  • Acupuncture has been shown to be cost effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions
  • Acupuncture may prevent higher doses of medication being required
  • Patients can often present with many issues for example their primary concern is suffering from headaches but they also have poor sleep, abdominal bloating and are feeling anxious. Acupuncture can help these conditions also

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Acupuncture. Find the answers to common Acupuncture questions

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