What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Oriental Medicine which involves the insertion of hair fine, single use sterile disposable needles into particular areas to activate the body’s own natural healing ability, Qi or Energy. Acupuncture is recognised by The World Health Organisation (WHO) which has an extensive list of conditions in which Traditional Chinese Medicine has demonstrable benefit.
Acupuncture is known world wide as a reliable and safe treatment for numerous conditions ranging from, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, obesity, neck, shoulder, knee and backache, strains, sprains, arthritis- (both rheumatoid and osteo) problems with circulatory system, insomnia sciatica, depression, facial paralysis, infertility, menstrual problems, headache and migraines, skin problems and addictions. There is research to substantiate claims made for its efficacy in managing pregnancy and pain relief in childbirth.
Traditional Oriental philosophy maintains that our health is dependent on free flowing of the body’s ‘QI’ (or energy) and circulation of blood. When this smooth flow is disrupted by illness, emotions, hereditary factors, climatic conditions, trauma, or dietary irregularities our natural homeostasis becomes challenged and we can get ill.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture has been shown to raise specific hormone levels, prostaglandins, white blood cells, gamma globulin and antibodies in general. Endorphin or the body’s own naturally produced opiates said to be 200 times stronger than morphine release to assist in the treatment of pain. British scientists using a new type of brain scan revealed that acupuncture stimulates the production of endorphins and activates the insular cortex, the part of the brain known to play a key role in regulating the perception of pain which explains why acupuncture is so helpful in relieving painful conditions such as arthritis.
More recently however, scientists discovered that not only is there endorphin release but the big breakthrough discovery revealed that acupuncture also impacts on the part of the brain responsible for triggering the healing response. It must be said that the more sophisticated scientific instrumentation becomes the more clearly it will be able to measure the effects of acupuncture. These are some of the modern theories but Ancient Masters say there is a Qi, Vital Force, bio energy that exists and moves through the body in and out of specific channels of energy (meridians) in a smooth balanced way.
The insertion of hair fine needles into specific points along a meridian, redistributes the flow of energy and encourages the body to heal itself.
How does it feel?
You may feel a tiny sensation as the needle is carefully inserted. When it is on the point a tingly sensation or mild dull ache may be felt.
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and have a very precise point configuration thus enabling the patient to feel relaxed during treatment. Most people find Acupuncture a very relaxing experience.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is widely regarded as a safe and reliable therapeutic modality provided the practitioner has a licence to practice and is suitably qualified and registered.
Members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) observe a Code of Practice which lays down stringent standards approved be the Department Of Health. In addition, patients seeking acupuncture treatment from practitioners registered with the BAcC can be assured of a very high level of competence.