Welcome to the world of traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been easing aches and pains for centuries. We reveal some of the many ailments it can ease, and just how the ancient medicine works its magic . . .
Everyone’s heard of acupuncture, one of the world’s oldest medicines – after all, it’s been around since 600 BC. Back then, it’s thought practitioners were using anything from sharp stones to sharpened bones, bamboo sticks and very big needles. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since then.
Acupuncture properly began in China, where it was believed that an imbalance of Yin and Yang caused disease. It gained immense respectability, especially when the public learned that royal figures were cured by it. However, by the 19th century it had fallen out of favour, and in 1822 the Chinese Emperor banned it from the Imperial Medical Institute – until it got a big thumbs up from Chairman Mao over 100 years later.
In the West, acupuncture grew in popularity during the 20th century, especially in the States, where it became the most popular alternative medicine. And today, millions of treatments are administered all over the world. Gwyneth Paltrow, Millie Mackintosh and Madonna are all fans.
So what exactly is it, and how does it work? Acupuncture is a process in which very fine needles - about the diameter of a thick human hair – are painlessly inserted into certain parts of the body to stimulate sensory nerves. It is based on the belief that a "life force" flows through the body called Qi. Practitioners believe that when Qi is not flowing freely through the body it can cause illness – and that acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi. An ancient Chinese medical text puts it like this: “Where there is pain, there is no flow; when there is flow, there is no pain”. It can be used to treat a number of conditions including migraines, back pain, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps and depression.
Here are some ailments that acupuncture can help with:
1. Menopausal symptoms
Acupuncture offers “a realistic” alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), treating symptoms such as hot flushes, heavy sweating, ‘fuzzy’ brain, joint pain, and reduced sex drive, says a Danish study published in the online journal BMJ Open. According to the study, 80% of the women in an acupuncture group said the sessions had helped them. “Acupuncture for menopausal symptoms is a realistic option for women who cannot, or do not wish to use [hormone therapy],” the study concluded.
Acupuncture can treat various types of headaches, and recurrent headaches. The World Health Organisation even endorses acupuncture for migraines. In practice, it attempts to stimulate the brain’s pituitary gland, producing painkilling endorphins.
3. Back pain
Acupuncture can provide pain relief for chronic low back pain by stimulating nerves in muscles and other tissues. Matt Damon is reported to have had acupuncture for his neck and back pain.
Acupuncture research indicates that inserting acupuncture needles in certain places in the body stimulates serotonin, which can alleviate depression.
Acupuncture treatment can improve the circulation of blood and energy in key reproductive areas, stimulate the healthy maturation of sperm and eggs, improve morning sickness, and help naturally induce labour. J Lo and Kim Kardashian both visited an acupuncturist during their fertility journeys and both are now Mamas!
Acupuncture can help with glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve caused by elevated levels of pressure in the eye, by administering to acupuncture points around the eyes. Studies have shown that eye pressure significantly decreased after acupuncture.
7. Digestive disorders
Acupuncture can help with digestive disorders such as bacterial infections, heartburn, lactose intolerance and gastrointestinal tract bleeding. It can help reduce inflammation of the stomach and pancreas by stimulating certain acupuncture points that can speed up metabolism, and restore stomach acidity to normal levels.
For an initial consultation to discover how acupuncture can help you please contact me.
Chinese Medicine•Wellness•Holistic health•Acupuncture•Benefits