Acupuncture


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 normal needling, other techniques that may be used in Acupuncture include electro-acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion - the burning of the herb mugwort over specific points to produce a warming effect.

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 level. 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 is less likely to reoccur.


How many treatments will be needed?

The number of treatments needed for acupuncture to produce changes varies from person to person and it depends on your constitution and on how long you have suffered from the condition that needs treatment. Only a few treatments may be needed if your symptoms only developed recently; but if you want treatment for a chronic condition you have had for years, it is possible that you may need Acupuncture for several months. As a guideline, a month of treatment may be expected for each year of illness you have experienced. Acupuncture is rarely offered in single sessions as its effects are cummulative. Courses of five or six weekly treatments are advisable because the sum of the effects of consecutive treatments can produce significant improvements that are commonly seen after five to six sessions.


Ear Acupuncture 

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 physician, 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, 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 

Scalp acupuncture consists of the treatment of points on the scalp and is mostly used for the treatment of symptoms 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 relevant symptoms of neurological origin affecting mobility, sensation, hearing, vision, balance, 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 neurological pain. In China and other East Asian countries, this type of acupuncture is widely used in hospitals alongside Western treatments for stroke rehabilitation and the treatment of many other neurological conditions.



Acupuncture and pregnancy



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, haemorrhoids, lower back ache, sciatic pain, digestive, problems, high blood pressure, oedema, e
tc.

When there is breech presentation, a simple Acupuncture procedure can be used to turn the baby. This is most effective when performed between the 34th and 36th weeks.
 

Acupuncture is also known to help induce labour. Not only are there specific points that do this (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 which may be preventing her from going into labour.

After giving birth, Acupuncture can help control haemorrhages, hemorrhoids, encourage the body to expel retained products (lochia), and prevent post-natal depression, as well as speeding up physical recovery.
Conditions that can be treated with acupuncture  

Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of conditions. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises over 180 conditions that have been scientifically verified to respond well to treatment. These include:

Chronic pain, back pain, arthritic pain


Insomnia

IBS and other digestive problems

Depression

Anxiety and Stress

Migraines and other types of headaches

PMS, Menstrual irregularities and Menopausal syndrome

Infertility

High blood pressure and circulatory problems

Skin conditions such as acne and ezcema

Asthma and other respiratory disorders

Hay fever and other allergies

Withdrawal symptoms during detoxification from drugs, alcohol and nicotine (see ear acupuncture)


Pregnancy-related symptoms that can be treated with Acupuncture

Morning sickness


Stress, anxiety, and insomnia

Lower back ache

Fatigue

Threatened miscarriage

Digestive problems: Heartburn, indigestion, bloating, loss of appetite

High blood pressure

Breech presentation (week 34 to 36)

Oedema

Birth preparation (week 36 onwards)

Labour induction

Post-natal depression