Acupuncture what is it and how does it work?

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an therapy with origins in ancient China but slowly over time it’s success has moved from east to west.

Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body called meridians. There are 365  points mapped along 12 major Channels. More than 1,000 points are found on your hands, ears and scalp alone. Acupuncture is associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  The practice of TCM may also include the use of chinese herbs, and moxibustion, cupping, and/or Tui Na.

What is Qi or the energy force?

The theory of acupuncture hypothesizes that Qi, pronounced ‘chee’, is your energy force.  Ideally, Qi flows freely through your body’s meridians and channels.  When Qi flows freely, it is believed health prospers.  If the flow of Qi is disrupted or stopped, the body is not in balance, and it is theorized that physical and/or mental problems can develop.  Yin and Yang are terms you may have heard that refer to the balance of your body’s inner workings.Yin and Yang are related to your body’s meridians and channels. Our Yin organs include the heart, lungs, liver and spleen and Yang organs our intestines, gallbladder and bladder.

How does Acupuncture work?

It is thought, in TCM, that acupuncture helps to restore the flow of Qi and thus stimulates the body to heal itself. It is also thought to aid pain relief as it is perceived to stimulate the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain relievers.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

The needles used are nearly as fine as hair and nothing like a hypodermic needle. They are also, at BOP and in many other clinics, single-use and sterile, disposable needles. You may fell the needle as it is inserted or manipulated, but most people report no pain at all.

Other techniques which may be used alongside Acupuncture treatment

Cupping- this involves placing a glass cup over the acupuncture point  and heating to create a vacuum suction over the points.

Tui Na-this is a form of Chinese massage performed generally after a treatment to enhance treatment effects.

What conditions could Acupuncture help?

Acupuncture may help with many things such as back painneck pain and headaches, but results, as with any therapy, will vary between patients.

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