Ann Brownbill - Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy in Codicote Wéidào Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic Wéidào Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic

General Acupuncture

Western medicine is becoming increasingly interested in the use of acupuncture, particularly in helping to relieve painful conditions

Qì flows throughout the body via an elaborate network of channels (meridians). Although these channels are not visible, each one has numerous energetic points (acupuncture points) along its length. It is into these points that very fine needles are inserted, thus influencing the flow of Qì and restoring harmony within the body. In health, Qì flows smoothly, but in disease it may become blocked or its flow may be unsmooth, creating disharmony or ill health.

Western medicine is becoming increasingly interested in the use of acupuncture, particularly in helping to relieve painful conditions. Researchers (e.g. Pomeranz, B. 1991, 1996) have found that acupuncture affects the nervous system, releasing chemicals known as endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. Studies have also demonstrated how acupuncture can increase blood flow to aid healing, and this increasing of blood flow is one of several reasons for the current interest in combining in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) with acupuncture (e.g. Sandberg, M. et al 2003, Stener-Victorin, E. et al 1996).

Related techniques of acupuncture include electro acupuncture and auricular acupuncture:

In electro acupuncture, the inserted acupuncture needles are connected to a compact machine which delivers small electrical pulses whose frequency and intensity may be adjusted according to the condition being treated. Thus, rather than the practitioner manipulating the needles, the machine provides a more continuous stimulation which can enhance the effects of treatment, particularly in painful conditions.

Auricular acupuncture involves the use of either needles or seeds on acupoints of the ear and is often incorporated into a regular acupuncture session. One benefit of using the ear seeds is that gentle acupressure to ear points can supplement and continue treatment in between appointments. A seed from the Vaccaria plant (English – Cow soapwort or Chinese – Wáng Bù Liú Xíng 王不留行) is held in place on a particular point on the ear by a small square of plaster and pressed several times a day. Auricular acupuncture is often used in the treatment of addictions, insomnia or anxiety, and may help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and promote relaxation.

Needle phobia? Aversion to needles is not uncommon, and many people miss out on the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture as a result, so we use acupressure instead. Acupressure treatment uses fingertips rather than needles to stimulate acupoints on the body, and is known to produce results similiar to acupuncture.

Click here to read about fertility acupuncture

Click here to read about pregnancy acupuncture