Body Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that has been practised for millennia and is one of the most essential parts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM theory, there are several channels in the body through which Qi runs.
Qi, which can be understood as our vital energy, is necessary for life and for every single activity within our body. When the flow of Qi through the energy channels is disrupted, discomfort or symptoms of disease may develop. Acupuncture directly manipulates Qi accessing it through the hundreds of Acupuncture points, each with specific functions, which are found in the channels.
Acupuncture aims to promote the normal flow of Qi, thus triggering natural healing processes to bring all our bodily functions back into balance. Apart from the usual needling with thin and sterilised single-use needles, other techniques that may be used in Acupuncture include electro-acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion.
The latter is an essential tool for the treatment of people with severe weakness which consists of the burning of the herb mugwort over specific points to produce a warming effect and boost energy.
Acupuncture can be used to treat specific conditions or as a preventative treatment and its effects can be felt at a mental, emotional, and physical levels. A trained acupuncturist will be able to determine the strategic points that need to be treated in order to address both the root of symptoms and the symptoms themselves so that, given the right life-style and dietary choices, the problem will be less likely to reoccur.
Different systems of Acupuncture play different roles in the treatment process. Body Acupuncture is most commonly used in the West, and can be effective for many conditions from muscular-skeletal pain to digestive and reproductive issues. Ear Acupuncture is best known as a technique used to help addiction recovery, but it is also highly effective for stress and painful conditions. Scalp Acupuncture is a more specialised type of treatment used to target symptoms of neurological origin as well as mental and emotional symptoms.
Ear or auricular Acupuncture is a specialised type of Acupuncture applied to specific points of the auricle (external ear). Much like reflexology, it works on the basis that different organs and tissues of the body can be treated through their corresponding reflex points in the ear.
Ear acupuncture uses the same principles and diagnostic methods as body Acupuncture, but it wasn't developed to its current form until the 1950's. It was at this time that Dr Paul Nogier, a French neurologist, researched the ear points and developed the reflex maps that are widely used today.
Specific treatment points which alleviate detoxification symptoms and cravings for drugs and alcohol were later identified in America and are now known as the National Auricular Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol.In addition to needling with small single-use needles, other methods can be used such as electro-stimulation, laser therapy, and ear seeds and magnets that help stimulate the points between treatments.
Ear acupuncture can be effective on its own particularly for the treatment of addictions and musculo-skeletal pain, but it is best combined with body Acupuncture as the two treatments enhance and support each other
Scalp acupuncture consists of the insertion of needles into points on the scalp and is mostly used for the treatment of neurological and psycho-emotional symptoms.
Although this acupuncture system is rooted in the Traditional Chinese Medicine theory which comprises many points on the head, since the 1960’s modern Western knowledge of the brain and its functions has influenced its development into a specialised treatment for neurological conditions.
Modern Scalp Acupuncture works on treating points that are distributed along areas of the scalp that correspond to the functional divisions of the cerebral cortex. These divisions are classified according to their functional activity such as motor, sensory, auditory, visual, balance, etc.
Scalp Acupuncture can thus be used to affect changes in symptoms of neurological origin affecting mobility, sensation, hearing, vision, balance, pain, and so on. This treatment is most commonly combined with body Acupuncture applied directly to the affected area of the body, as well as on points selected according to the specific Chinese Medicine diagnosis of the person.
Scalp Acupuncture can be a particularly helpful adjunct to the treatment of conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and neuropathic pain.
In China and other East Asian countries, this type of Acupuncture is widely used alongside Western medicine for stroke rehabilitation and the treatment of other neurological conditions.
Providing You are dealing with a qualified practitioner, it is not only safe but it can be highly beneficial for both mother and baby to use Acupuncture during pregnancy.
As a preventative treatment, Acupuncture can be used once a month to make sure mother and baby are in the best possible health.
Having weekly treatments during the last month of pregnancy can help prepare the uterus for birth and prevent difficult labour.
In addition, Acupuncture can effectively help with symptoms that may arise during pregnancy, such as: morning sickness, fatigue, anxiety and stress, insomnia, heartburn, heamorrhoids, lower back ache, sciatic pain, digestive problems, high blood pressure, oedema, and many others.
When there is breech presentation, a simple procedure using moxibustion (the burning of the herb mugwort on specific Acu-points) can be used to turn the baby. This is a non-invasive treatment that is most effective when performed between the 34th and 36th weeks of pregnancy.
Acupuncture is also known to help induce labour. Not only are there specific points that do this (which are the same points that need to be avoided throughout the pregnancy!), but Acupuncture treatment also induces a relaxed state that allows the mother to let go of tension and fear that may be preventing her from going into labour.
After giving birth, Acupuncture can help control excessive bleeding, heamorrhoids, encourage the body to expel retained products (lochia), and prevent post-natal depression as well as speeding up physical recovery.
Chinese Medicine Bristol will stay open to help you with any physical or mental/emotional health issues as advised by Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine professional bodies BAA, BAF, and RCHM. Following restrictions, I won't be able to provide treatments for wellbeing or relaxation during this time and appointments will only be available at Gloucester Rd and the Brightwell. I will continue to follow the government and professional advice to prevent viral spread with a commitment to keep us all safe. Please contact me with any queries regarding this.