5 things you didn’t know acupuncture was good for
Research shows that 26% of people believe that an acupuncture needle is as large as those used for normal injections and that it can only be used to treat pain.
Acupuncture works with the body’s own healing mechanisms to treat and also prevent illness. It involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body to correct health issues. It does this by influencing the flow of energy known as Qi (pronounced chi), which runs along channels in the body. When Qi is too weak, too strong or gets stuck in the system, illness occurs.
Acupuncture is often broken into two strands – traditional and medical. Traditional acupuncture is part of the ancient practice of Chinese Medicine and is over 3000 years old and treats the whole person rather than just the ailment, unlike medical acupuncture, which treats the direct source of pain. Acupuncture can also be used to treat other ailments and so may be worth considering if conventional medicines haven’t achieved the desired results.
Cold and flu immunity
People who catch a lot of colds would be seen as having weak defensive Qi – roughly equivalent to the immune system and so would be advised to go for regular treatments in between bouts of colds, so that their defensive Qi becomes stronger and they are better able to resist infection.
When a person is suffering with a cold or flu, acupuncture treatment aims to expel pathogens from the system. To expel the cold, various points may be used with particular functions. For instance, the back of the neck will dispel a headache, the hands will open the pores and release the pathogen and the face will unblock sinuses. In addition to needles, the acupuncturist may use the herb Moxa to disperse a cold or Cupping to move phlegm in the chest.
Over 50% of people in the UK suffer with sleep disorders of some kind, generally attributed to a stressful lifestyle. Traditional acupuncture is known to be enormously beneficial for helping correct sleep problems. Most people find treatment relaxing, as acupuncture calms the nervous system and also affects hormonal outputs by increasing endorphin production. A course of treatment is usually recommended, as the acupuncturist will want to discover why the sleeping problem is happening since treatment is geared to treat the cause and not just the symptom. Points on the body will vary from person to person as each person is treated individually. Often auricular (ear) points may be used as an adjunct to body points. Small magnetic pellets can be placed on auricular points and left there between weekly treatments to further enhance the calming effects of the acupuncture.
Seasonal acupuncture treatment can be just what you need to boost your energy levels when you’re feeling tired and run down. In traditional acupuncture, ultra-fine needles are placed usually on the limbs or body to boost and regulate the flow of energy around the body, thus increasing your overall energy levels. Some people begin to feel the difference after just one session, however it’s recommended that you have a course of treatments in order to get to the root of your problem. The number of sessions required will depend on how long you have been feeling low in energy and any other symptoms you are experiencing.
Acupuncture sessions always seek to treat the root cause of the problem, which includes repairing any imbalances and strengthening energy. When you suffer from anxiety, your mind can work at such a speed you can’t think clearly and your natural distress signals are overworked too, resulting in you feeling vulnerable and scared. Traditional acupuncture helps patients quieten thoughts and clear their minds, leaving them feeling stronger emotionally and enabling them to return back to their ‘old self’ again.
British Acupuncture Council member Jani White says, “Traditional acupuncture is particularly effective at aiding conception by helping to regulate menstrual cycles, treating polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis as well as improving sperm parameters and supporting all aspects of natural and assisted conception.”
Always look for a practitioner who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council to ensure they have qualified with a degree and are fully insured. To find a registered practitioner in your area visit the British Acupuncture Council website www.acupuncture.org.uk.