Acupuncture is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that was developed thousands of years ago in China and other parts of East Asia. The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur.
Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific areas on and below the skin (acupuncture points) to release blockages in this energy flow, thus relieving symptoms and helping the body restore health and balance. Acupuncture can provide drug free pain relief as it balances both underlying causes and symptoms, and can be used to prevent disease.
During your consultation you will be asked questions about your health, including your medical history, current symptoms and your general diet and lifestyle.
The practitioner will look at the colour and shape of your tongue and its coating, and will feel pulses in different positions on each of your wrists to give information about each of the internal organs, as well as the body as a whole.
The acupuncturist may also press different acupuncture points, for example on your stomach or back, to check for tenderness or pain.
Your acupuncture session will be tailored specifically from your diagnosis and aims to clear energy blockages or increase energy in depleted areas and encourage the normal flow of Qi (energy) through the individual. The state of imbalance of the body dictates how quickly an individual recovers.
Acupuncture is excellent in that it is a very specific tool, for example if the pain is in your foot we are able to focus on the exact area of your problem.
Small fine acupuncture needles will be inserted via a guide tube, at different points on your body, often on the wrists, ankles and feet, back and abdomen. As the needles are inserted, you shouldn't feel anything apart from a mild sensation or slight soreness. The needles are used only once and are disposed of safely and hygienically.
A typical acupuncture session lasts an hour, including consultation, with the needles in place for 20-30 minutes.