Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture
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- Typical Conditions
Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China.
Here in the West acupuncture is usually publicised as only being helpful with specific conditions such as addictions, arthritis and pain relief. It is in fact effective with a wide variety of conditions through it's power to stimulate the mind & body's own healing responses.
Acupuncture is suitable for people of all ages from babies to the elderly. Needles are normally left in for 20-30 minutes and during this time there may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation. The needles are very fine, little thicker than a human hair and rarely cause pain. Treatment with acupuncture can produce rapid results, but more often it requires a number of treatments, usually at weekly intervals.
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A TCM acupuncturist uses a holistic approach to health based on over 2000 years of development in the Far East. Traditionally, acupuncture is used for the management of disease as well as the maintenance of health. The skill of an acupuncturist lies in their ability to make a traditional diagnosis from what is often a complex pattern of disharmony or dysfunction. The exact pattern and degree of disharmony is unique to each individual and with traditional acupuncture will be treated as such with a personal treatment plan.
Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practised in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. Although often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat people with a wide variety of illnesses, disease and conditions. It's focus is on improving the overall well being & health of the patient, rather than the isolated treatment of specific problems or symptoms. According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body's vital energy - known as Qi (or Chi) - moving in a smooth flowing and balanced way through a series of meridians (energy channels or pathways) within the body.
Qi consists of equal and opposite qualities or forces - 'Yin & Yang' - and when these become unbalanced or the energy flow is restricted in some way, illness may result. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing systems and help restore it's natural balance. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a number of factors. These include emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma. The principal aim of acupuncture in treating the whole person is to rebalance the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.
Once in balance, then the person has the greatest chance of optimum health.
The following is a list of some of the more common conditions treated by Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, as outlined by the WHO (World Health Organization), agency of the United Nations.
Upper Respiratory Tract
Bronchial asthma (most effective in children and in patients without complicating diseases)
Disorders of the Eye
Myopia (in children)
Cataract (without complications)
Disorders of the Mouth
Toothache, post-extraction pain
Acute and chronic pharyngitis
Spasms of oesophagus and cardia
Acute and chronic gastritis
Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)
Acute duodenal ulcer (without complications)
Acute and chronic colitis
Acute bacillary dysentery
Neurological and Musculo-skeletal Disorders
Headache and migraine
Facial palsy (early stage, i.e., within three to six months)
Pareses following a stroke
Sequelae of poliomyelitis (early stage, i.e., within six months)
Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
"Frozen shoulder," "tennis elbow"
Low back pain
Here are some reviews of Research on the Effectiveness of TCM acupuncture with common conditions, as provided by British Acupuncture Council.
Migraine (129 Kb)
Stroke (131 Kb)
Arthritis (205 Kb)
Gynaecological Disorders (148 Kb)
Menopause (134 Kb)
HIV Infection (158 Kb)
Addiction & Substance Abuse (218 Kb)
Asthma (312 Kb)
Anxiety & Depression (181 Kb)
Nausea & Vomiting in Pregnancy (414 Kb)
Sports Injuries (304 Kb)
Obstetrics (492 Kb)
Infertility (Short Paper 1) (142 Kb)
What Is TCM?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a system of diagnosis and healthcare that has evolved over the last 3,000 years. The Chinese approach to understanding the human body is unique. It is based on the holistic concept of the universe outlined in the spiritual insights of Daoism, and it has produced a highly sophisticated set of practices designed to cure illness and to maintain health and well-being. These practices include acupuncture, herbal remedies, diet, and exercises such as Qigong.
The last twenty years or so have seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of these therapies and they now enjoy a growing respect, not only from patients who have experienced their benefits at first hand but also from the medical fraternity in the West, who were initially extremely sceptical.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body's motivating energy - known as Qi - moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin. Qi consists of equal and opposite qualities - Yin and Yang - and when these become unbalanced, illness may result. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural balance.
How Does The Flow Of Qi Become Disturbed?
The flow of Qi can be disturbed by a number of factors. These include emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief, poor nutrition, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, poisons and trauma.
How Does A TCM Acupuncturist Make A Diagnosis?
To make an appropriate TCM diagnosis the acupuncturist will ask about your current symptoms and what treatment you have had so far, your medical history and that of your close family, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. To discover how the energies are flowing in your body, the acupuncturist is likely to feel your pulses on both wrists, noting their quality, rhythm and strength. The structure, colour and coating of your tongue also give a good guide to your physical health.
What Does It Feel Like?
Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to those used in injections and blood tests. They are much finer and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache. Needles are normally left in place for 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the effect required. During treatment patients commonly experience a heaviness in the limbs or a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture?
The benefits of Acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that it can also lead to increased energy levels, better appetite and sleep as well as an enhanced sense of overall well being.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
All members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) observe a Code of Safe Practice, amongst others, which lays down stringent standards of hygiene and requires the use of sterile disposable needles.
Is Acupuncture Safe During Pregnancy?
Although there are some points that should not be used during pregnancy, Acupuncture has shown to be effective in the treatment of Morning Sickness and pregnancy management.
Can I Still Donate Blood?
Patients who have been treated by an acupuncturist that is a BAcC member are eligible to donate blood through the National Blood Service.
How Much Does Treatment Cost?
See Price List.
Other Therapies Practiced - Thought Field Therapy (TFT)