Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

The philosophy behind the treatment is that energy lines, channels or meridians circulate around the body. These meridians contain our energy flow or qi. It is when the free flow of qi is impaired that imbalance and illness occurs. With the insertion of fine needles at various points on the meridians, the energy can be moved or redirected to where it is needed most, allowing the body's balance to be restored.

The flow of energy can be disrupted in many ways; emotional upset, physical trauma, poor diet or overwork are all common examples. By examining this underlying cause and how it has affected the body, the most appropriate treatment for the patient can be selected. Considering each patient as an individual is at the core of acupuncture treatment and it is this that helps the body to rebalance itself.

Blocked energy can manifest itself in areas that are painful or are particularly cold or hot, or a different colour. These signs can help determine which points are most suitable.

The sensation of acupuncture can feel like a numb, tingling, or dull aching sensation which lasts only for a few moments. Some patients are a little anxious before their first session but are pleasantly surprised at how painless it is and how relaxed they feel afterwards.

Five Element Acupuncture

According to Chinese theory, we are each made up of 5 Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

These are our creative and controlling energies and ideally, should all be in balance. The element most out of balance is known as the causative factor and is diagnosed by observing the colour, sound, emotion and odour of the patient. This evaluation enables the development of a treatment plan that will treat the causative factor or that element represented by the patient.

This ancient system enables the Body/Mind/Spirit to heal itself and is essential because it means the underlying cause or root of the disease is being treated rather than just the symptoms.

Five Element Acupuncture not only deals with the condition by restoring overall balance of energy, but it may also help in a general way, by promoting an improved quality of life.

Japanese Toyohari Meridian Therapy

Toyohari's gentle approach, which emphasises touch, was developed in Japan where acupuncture has been uniquely influenced by its four-hundred year old tradition of blind acupuncture practitioners. The treatment is largely based on the practitioner’s ability to feel and work with Qi, a subtle energy which flows throughout a person's body and in particular along twelve main channels or meridians. Specialised needle techniques are used, unique to Toyohari, which are very gentle and non-invasive, making it particularly suited to children and for those who are wary of needles.

As with most acupuncture treatments, a full diagnosis is made, firstly by asking about your medical history, lifestyle and symptoms. You will then be asked to lie on a treatment couch, (usually fully clothed) so that the practitioner can assess subtle signs of imbalance in your body by gently touching your legs, arms, neck, abdomen and wrist pulses. This system of diagnosis allows identification of the fundamental imbalance in the person’s body – this is known as finding the sho (pattern). It is important to correct this before addressing any specific symptoms, because if the correct sho is treated then the results are expected to be more effective and longer lasting.

There are some obvious differences between Toyohari and other styles of acupuncture practice. Patients are most likely to notice that the Toyohari approach is more gentle and the practitioner's touch and needling techniques feel lighter and less invasive. In addition to very fine needles a variety of metal tools may be used to touch, tap or stroke the skin surface. Moxibustion is often an important part of the treatment.

Moxibustion

Also known as moxa, moxibustion has been used alongside acupuncture for millennia. This is carried out by burning the herb Artemisia vulgaris latiflora, better known as mugwort, close to or on your body to warm and nourish your qi.

Moxa is used to warm you up when you have a condition that is cold in nature such as a painful joint, a cold lower abdomen or an aching, cold lower back. Moxa can also nourish your qi and blood to warm and strengthen your energy when you feel depleted.

Cupping

Cupping originated in China and is still used in many parts of Europe including Turkey, Greece, France and Italy. It removes external pathogens from the body, such as Wind, Cold or Damp and helps qi and blood that is stuck to move freely again. Cupping will often be used if you have joint problems and is also commonly used for head colds.

Cups can be made of glass, plastic or bamboo. Before a cup is placed on the skin, a vacuum is first created by placing a lighted taper quickly in the cup and removing it. The vacuum inside the cup creates suction and draws qi and blood to the surface, allowing the release of any blocked pathogens. Cups with suction pumps can also be used, rather than creating a vacuum with a flame.

Tui Na

Tui Na is part of Chinese medicine, of equal importance to acupuncture and herbal medicine. It uses all the same principles and same meridians and points as acupuncture, but uses the hands, fingers and elbows rather than needles.

It has many of the same benefits of acupuncture and can be used in some situations where acupuncture would not be suitable, for example if the patient is nervous of needles or so weak that the powerful effect of needles might be too much for them.

Tui Na is particularly beneficial in cases of muscle or tendon injury, muscular tension, circulation problems, menstrual and digestive problems, tiredness, or stress-related symptoms.

Electro-acupuncture

This is the use of a machine very similar to a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine to introduce a very low frequency electric current through a needle. It is often used in the treatment of pain as it increases blood flow, relaxes the muscles and moves stagnant qi.

​Please contact me on 07788 663210 or and I will be happy to talk through how acupuncture could help you.

Member of the British Acupuncture Federation Member of the British Acupuncture Federation Anxiety UK Approved Practitioner