Chinese Medicine is the oldest, continually practiced, professional and literate medicine in the world. The written literature for this medical system stretches back 2500 years. Its effectiveness has stood the test of time, and current clinical trials consistently prove its effectiveness; so much so that it has been accepted by Western Medicine, and was recently recommended by the House of Lords to be made part of the NHS.
Holism is at the heart of Chinese Medicine: it views the body, the mind and the spirit as one. Your practitioner will seek to treat you as a person and get to the root of the disease, rather than just treat your illness.
How does it work?
The theory behind it states that energy lines or meridians circulate around the body, at the surface as well as through the organs. These meridians carry our life energy or Qi around. When the flow of Qi is impaired, imbalances and ill health occur. Many factors can block the proper circulation of Qi: emotional upset, physical trauma, poor diet, overwork to name a few. Blocked energy can manifest itself as pain, but also feeling of heat, cold, numbness. Once the practitioner has determined the underlying causes linking all your signs and symptoms, very fine needles are inserted to unblock the meridians and restore your natural balance.
Although modern research is in its infancy, it shows that acupuncture can affect most of our body’s systems: for instance, it stimulates the nervous system, hormone outputs and immune system function. One of its best-documented effects is the stimulation of endorphin production, to decrease pain threshold.
No two people are the same; therefore treatments are uniquely tailored taking into account each patients particular condition. A session usually lasts between 1 hr and 1:30 hr, including a consultation and a treatment. A full medical history will be taken on the first session, making it longer than subsequent ones. Your practitioner will also rely on observation of the tongue and the pulse, and palpation to identify the underlying patterns of disharmony. You will then work in cooperation with the practitioner to establish a treatment plan. The number of sessions required depends on the individual; however some change is usually felt after 5 sessions. You might also feel completely right after your first one!
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture is a safe technique. It uses very fine, single use, pre-sterilised needles with guide tubes. You may not feel the needle at all when it is inserted. When stimulated, you may feel a tingling, warm or dull sensation; something unusual but not painful. Stimulation of specific points on the body affects certain organs; these points may however not be close to where you feel the symptoms: for instance, points on the feet might be included for headache treatment. Your practitioner may want to burn smokeless moxa (Chinese mugwort) over the points, creating a warm relaxing feeling. Traditional Chinese Medicine also encompasses bodywork (Tui Na therapeutic massage), dietary and exercise therapy.
Anne-Sophie Morel: 07779111248 – firstname.lastname@example.org
An example of moxa gently warming up the lower back to relieve chronic lower back pain.