Acupuncture has been part of traditional medicine in China for 3000 years. It is very different from Western medicine because it is based on the history, philosophy and sociology of the individual, developing a unique understanding of the functions of the body. In Chinese medicine, the human body is composed of meridians (energy channels) which maintain a balance of mind, body and spirit. These meridians are associated with the internal organs and when imbalanced can be the main factor in contributing to poor health. Obstruction and weakness of energy flow in the meridians causes these imbalances. Each ailment is treated as a whole with an individualized treatment strategy based on the patient’s constitution rather than just symptoms.
The initial consultation will gain a history of the client’s symptoms, including circulation, digestion relating to diet, emotions and sleeping pattern. Diagnosis of health ailments includes observations of the tongue structure, colour and coating and pulses for their rhythm, quality and strength. The practitioner will analyse this information and make a diagnosis. An individual treatment strategy is developed for each condition.
Treatment is performed with the insertion of fine needles into the body at strategic acupuncture points. The needles used are exceptionally fine and disposable. You may feel a slight tingling or aching sensation when the needles activate the acupuncture point. The needles may stay in place for up to twenty minutes depending on the prescribed treatment.
There are several other techniques based on the principles of acupuncture and may be used as part of the treatment:
— Applying heat to specific points using a Chinese medicine called Artemis Vulgaris (mugwort).
— Attaching a glass cup over the skin surface to improve circulation and energy flow to clear local pain.
— Applying a ‘scraping’ type movement over the skin to alleviate pain.