What is Acupuncture?

Picture of woman receiving Acupuncture
Acupuncture at work

Acupuncture is based on Chinese Medicine, a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of Chinese Medicine is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through energy pathways in the body. Each pathway corresponds to an organ, or group of organs, that govern particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi is thought to create health and wellness. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary opposites. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow) causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an Acupuncturist inserts needles at points along the channels.

The philosophy underlying Acupuncture and Shiatsu is that vital energy (known as Ki in Japanese and qi in Chinese) flows throughout the body in a series of channels called meridians. For many different reasons qi can stop flowing freely and this produces a symptom or pain. Qi moves throughout the whole body, but in certain defined pathways it flows in a more concentrated manner. These pathways are known as channels or meridians.

Most of the main Acupuncture points exist on the twelve main (and two of eight extra) channels. Local pain is treated by needling tender points where qi or blood is believed to have stagnated, known as ‘ah shi’ points. These are similar to the trigger points used by physiotherapists and osteopaths.

Each energy channel is named after, and linked to a physical organ:-

  • The Metal Element: Lung and Large Intestine channels
  • The Earth Element: Spleen and Stomach channels
  • The Fire Element: Heart and Small Intestine channels and Pericardium and Triple Burner channels
  • The Water Element: Kidney and Urinary Bladder channels
  • The Wood Element: Liver and Gall bladder channels

Combining two Acupuncture systems for optimum results

I combine the practices of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Five Element Acupuncture for optimal results:-
In TCM, the main focus is on the organs or groups of organs (and their corresponding energetic pathways) that are most out of balance. Five Element Acupuncture works on the premise that each one of us resonates with one dominant element, known as our Causative Factor or CF. The way in which imbalance and illness manifests in your body will be influenced according to your dominant element (CF); understanding what this is and therefore treating it means that the root of your problems are being treated; people who have received CF treatments often report feeling better in themselves, in addition to symptom relief.

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