What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of Qi (the body's vital energy). The body has a network of meridians (or channels) in which Qi flows. These meridians connect the structures and functions of the body in a similar way to the nervous and circulatory systems in Western Medicine. Acupuncture points are found on the meridians closest to the body's surface, which is where the needles can influence the Qi.
Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on principles of Chinese Medicine which go back nearly Two thousand years. It looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance and that Qi is not flowing freely. There can be many reasons for this: emotional and physical stress, injury, poor nutrition, infection and lifestyle factors.
The overall aim of acupuncture is to restore balance and the smooth flow of Qi. What makes this system particularly suited to modern life (and different from Western Medicine) is that physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are seen as interdependent. The focus of each treatment is therefore on the individual, not their illness and all the symptoms are seen in relation to each other.
What can acupuncture treat?
The Advertising Standards Authority no longer allows acupuncturists to name conditions they treat. However, acupuncture can be used for a wide range of health concerns both acute and chronic. In short, anything you might see your G.P. for.
Many people use acupuncture to help with a specific condition, symptoms or pain. Others choose it to help maintain good health or just to improve their sense of wellbeing.
The British Acupuncture Council has a list of fact sheets covering a range of conditions from acne to vertigo and most things in between. These fact sheets can be accessed here.
The different styles.
There are 2 main categories of acupuncture, traditional Chinese and Western (sometimes called medical acupuncture or dry needling). Western acupuncture is usually used in combination with other forms of treatment such as physiotherapy and is mainly aimed at treating pain.
Within the traditional Chinese category there are many differ styles as this ancient form of medicine was passed down from generation to generation and developed in slightly different ways as it travelled first around the Far East and then of course more recently to the rest of the world.
Jane trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) before changing and developing her style. She undertook both foundation and advanced training with (the late, great) Dr. Tan. Dr.Tan devoted over 50years of his life to understanding the classics of Chinese medicine, taking the important bits and translating them to make them accessible to those living in the West in modern day. This life long work resulted in a highly effective form of acupuncture which is quickly gaining a reputation around the world for it's rapid results. It is called Balance Method Acupuncture.
Jane continues to study Balance Method Acupuncture with the small team of teachers who worked closely with Dr. Tan to deepen her knowledge and skills.