The basic principle of acupuncture is to promote a healthy flow of the life force ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’). Perfect health reflects a perfectly smooth flow of qi through the meridians which the Chinese believe run through our bodies. If the energy flow is inhibited by the challenges of our stressful times (overworking, bad diet, overthinking, poor sleep patterns etc.) or through injury, acupuncture can help address this.
There are hundreds of specific acupuncture points along the meridian network and, with the insertion of fine acupuncture needles to key areas, the treatment targets any blockages or hindrances to the flow of energy (qi) which is vital to the well-being of the body, by enhancing the flow.
As acupuncture evolves as one of the first treatment choices in the quest for health, its use must continue to be supported by evidence. Fortunately, evidence supporting the use of acupuncture is plentiful. On the back of research and emerging evidence, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have acknowledged its positive use in therapy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has produced a long list of disease categories for which traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture has demonstrable benefit. These include:
- Pain and arthritic discomfort
- Fluid retention, including bags under the eyes
- Skin disorders
- Constipation and IBS
- Period problems
- Menopausal symptoms
There are many theoretical models in existence offering explanations for and supporting the effects commonly seen during and after acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture has been shown to raise levels of specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood cells, ‘gamma globulins’ and antibodies generally. Acupuncture stimulates our own pain relievers and ‘feel-good’ mechanisms- ‘the endorphins’. These are the body’s own naturally produced ‘opiates’ and are reported to be significantly stronger than morphine. They are known as ‘happy molecules’ as they also enhance our mood and sense of well being.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently made recommendations on the use of acupuncture as an accepted alternative therapy.
How many sessions will I need?
This will vary depending on the nature of your complaint, its duration and your constitution. Often a course ranging from 6-12 treatments is required to provide long-term results, but equally a one-off acupuncture treatment can abolish the pain or problem.
Where are the needles inserted?
Needles are often inserted locally near the site of the pain or symptoms. However, needles may also be inserted at other locations such as arms and legs if appropriate.
Other modalities such as massage, heat and cupping (a vacuum therapy used to invigorate blood circulation to promote healing) can be beneficial.
Using acupuncture as a treatment involves a different diagnostic language in the form of looking, listening, asking, and palpating. It also includes tongue and pulse diagnosis.
The treatment principle is to move blood and ‘Qi’ and to eliminate stasis. Flowing ‘Qi’ relieves pain.
Acupuncture has been used very successfully at The Wilson Bleasdale Clinic to enhance fertility in females with a 100% success rate. One of the ways acupuncture increases fertility is by decreasing stress which is often a key factor in the fertility of both females and males.
All the above therapeutic interventions of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been proven effective in their own right as valid treatments for relieving pain, and addressing ill health. This ultimately means that you may rest in the certain knowledge that you will be receiving the most comprehensive and holistic treatment available at The Wilson Bleasdale Clinic.