Acupuncture is one of the oldest systems of medicine in history, and today is a safe and effective practice which can be used alongside conventional medicine, or as an alternative. Some people come to acupuncture for help with a specific problem or condition, others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or simply to improve their general sense of well-being.
Acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation. It focuses on all the factors which contribute to pain and illness, not just the presenting symptoms and establishes the underlying cause, which means that each patient’s treatment plan will be different.
Chinese Medicine is based on the simple belief that everything is connected, and what happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body. Organs and organ systems are viewed as interconnected structures that work together to keep the body functioning well.
Qi (pronounced “chi”), is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling and regulating the workings of these organs and their pathways, called meridians. An imbalance in the flow of qi causes illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine sterile needles into specific points, which lie on these meridians, with the intention of restoring the pathways so that the energy can once again flow freely. A person receiving acupuncture will often report both an improvement in symptoms and an increased sense of well-being.
Acupuncture has a sound evidence base. The British Acupuncture Council have numerous fact sheets on acupuncture’s effectiveness on a variety of conditions (for example headaches, arthritis, gynaelogical conditions, back pain) and there is a body of independent clinical research supporting its efficacy too.