Acupuncture

The philosophy behind the treatment is that energy lines, channels or meridians circulate around the body. These meridians contain our energy flow or qi. It is when the free flow of qi is impaired that imbalance and illness occurs. With the insertion of fine needles at various points on the meridians, the energy can be moved or redirected to where it is needed most, allowing the body's balance to be restored.

The flow of energy can be disrupted in many ways; emotional upset, physical trauma, poor diet or overwork are all common examples. By examining this underlying cause and how it has affected the body, the most appropriate treatment for the patient can be selected. Considering each patient as an individual is at the core of acupuncture treatment and it is this that helps the body to rebalance itself.

Blocked energy can manifest itself in areas that are painful or are particularly cold or hot, or a different colour. These signs can help determine which points are most suitable.

The sensation of acupuncture can feel like a numb, tingling, or dull aching sensation which lasts only for a few moments. Some patients are a little anxious before their first session but are pleasantly surprised at how painless it is and how relaxed they feel afterwards.

Acupuncture also includes other techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, tuina and electro-acupuncture.

Moxibustion

Also known as moxa, moxibustion has been used alongside acupuncture for millennia. This is carried out by burning the herb Artemisia vulgaris latiflora, better known as mugwort, close to or on your body to warm and nourish your qi.

Moxa is used to warm you up when you have a condition that is cold in nature such as a painful joint, a cold lower abdomen or an aching, cold lower back. Moxa can also nourish your qi and blood to warm and strengthen your energy when you feel depleted.

Cupping

Cupping originated in China and is still used in many parts of Europe including Turkey, Greece, France and Italy. It removes external pathogens from the body, such as Wind, Cold or Damp and helps qi and blood that is stuck to move freely again. Cupping will often be used if you have joint problems and is also commonly used for head colds.

Cups can be made of glass, plastic or bamboo. Before a cup is placed on the skin, a vacuum is first created by placing a lighted taper quickly in the cup and removing it. The vacuum inside the cup creates suction and draws qi and blood to the surface, allowing the release of any blocked pathogens. Cups with suction pumps can also be used, rather than creating a vacuum with a flame.

Tui Na

Tui Na is part of Chinese medicine, of equal importance to acupuncture and herbal medicine. It uses all the same principles and same meridians and points as acupuncture, but uses the hands, fingers and elbows rather than needles.

It has many of the same benefits of acupuncture and can be used in some situations where acupuncture would not be suitable, for example if the patient is nervous of needles or so weak that the powerful effect of needles might be too much for them.

Tui Na is particularly beneficial in cases of muscle or tendon injury, muscular tension, circulation problems, menstrual and digestive problems, tiredness, or stress-related symptoms.

Electro-acupuncture

This is the use of a machine very similar to a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine to introduce a very low frequency electric current through a needle. It is often used in the treatment of pain as it increases blood flow, relaxes the muscles and moves stagnant qi.

Member of the British Acupuncture Council Anxiety UK Approved Practitioner