Therapies, massage treatments, counselling » Acupuncture
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice that entails stimulating certain points on the body, most often with a needle penetrating the skin, to alleviate pain or to help treat various health conditions.
How does acupuncture work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an energetic model. The ancient Chinese recognised the vital energy inherent in all living things. This energy is called Qi (pronounced chee) and it is a force similar to electrical or magnetic energy. Qi flows and circulates in our bodies along specific pathways called Channels or Meridians. Each channel is connected to a particular internal organ and physiological system.
If the Qi in the pathways becomes obstructed, deficient or excessive, disease occurs. A number of factors can cause a Qi imbalance, such as a poor diet, emotions (ie stress, anger, anxiety, fear, grief, etc.), lifestyle, physical trauma, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise.
The channels communicate with the surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. Needles inserted in these points influence the Qi that flows to the internal organs. There are over 365 acupuncture points in the body and different points have different functions, like alleviating or stopping pain, reducing inflammation, stimulating immune function, regulating digestion, treating rashes, and calming the mind.
From a Western biomedical point of view, it is understood that acupuncture influences a number of physiological functions such as the release of endorphins and monoamines (the body's natural pain killing chemicals), the release of serotonin, the release of white blood cells that help fight inflammation, the restoration of proper blood and lymph circulation in diseased areas, and the stimulation of hormonal glands and immune system functions.
Research into the effects of acupuncture is ongoing and every year scientists discover more information that helps us understand more fully how acupuncture works.
What can acupuncture treat?
In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:
HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, AND NERVOUS CONDITIONS
STRESS-RELATED, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL CONDITIONS
For more detailed information and for a complete list of ailments that can treated with acupuncture, please refer to the WHO site: