Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a Chinese, holistic medicine many thousands of years old. By holistic we mean that it views, diagnoses and treats the body as a whole, as opposed to viewing, diagnosing and treating the body in segments irrespective of the other parts of the body.
TCM in China today has 4 main branches:
- Herbal Therapy
- Massage (Tui Na)
- Medical Qigong
Many years ago, prior to the revolutions of the 1950’s and onwards, TCM also included Feng Shui as a branch of medicine.
According to TCM, when the body’s energy (called Qi in China or Ki in Japan) is out of balance, caused by energy blockages and/or poor organ function, then it becomes sick.
According to TCM theory Qi flows around the body along specific channels, called meridians. These are similar but additional to the lymphatic system, nervous system and the blood vessels.
The aim of TCM, including acupuncture, is to restore the body’s Qi balance, restore body’s organ function to full potential and ensure smooth flow of the energy around the body.
In addition to the main treatment purpose the smooth flow of energy resulting from the treatment often results in an overall feeling and sense of overall well being, more energy and a relaxed feeling. This is well reported by many patients. In fact many patients fall asleep during treatment.
Acupuncture uses the needles to stimulate the body’s Qi to help clear blockages, improve organ function and restore the body back to a balanced state. Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny needles into well documented specific points on the body , usually in combinations.
The needles are tiny thin needles, almost hair-like, nothing like needles used for injections which are much thicker. All needles used at Ayun Acupuncture clinic are one-use disposable needles contained in small plastic tubes to assist with the insertion.
What Can Acupuncture Be Used For?
In theory, acupuncture, through application of the TCM theory, can be used to help almost any sickness or health condition. In practice the difficulty lies in diagnosing the underlying cause of a complex inter related organs and pathways of energy. To treat the symptoms is usually easier than treating the underlying causes, therefore true healthcare can often take much longer than simply getting rid of the symptoms.
Acupuncture is well known for its pain management but it can be used for much more. Whilst TCM, in theory, suggests that almost any problem can be helped with acupuncture, in practice I have achieved specific results for the following conditions:
- Pain Relief.
- Back problems.
- Sprains, sore joints and muscle injuries
- Gynaecology and women’s problems.
- Depression, stress, and many emotional problems.
- Skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema.
- Blood circulation problems.
- Energy related problems, M.E., excessive tiredness etc.
- General well being.
It should be noted that many western medicine practitioners such as GPs and physiotherapists also use acupuncture for some conditions. However, rarely are they applying TCM theory, simply because they have not been trained to do so and training in TCM theory takes several years as does their medical skills. They are using a limited set of tried and well tested needling points to achieve well proven outcomes and it can be very effective.
If for some reason it is not effective, or only effective for a short period of time, then TCM theory would suggest that the treatment plan is only treating the symptoms and not getting to the root cause. A bit like a tablet for headache. In these cases it may be worth trying true TCM based acupuncture.
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