Acupuncture is the virtually painless insertion of very fine needles into acupuncture points on the body.
How it works
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture regulates the circulation of Qi (energy), leading the body to an optimum state in which it can heal itself. Many triggers can cause the Qi to become blocked; some of the most common are diet and lifestyle, overwork, stress, emotional events and physical trauma.
Using local acupuncture points encourages local healing, whilst using balancing points returns the Qi of the whole body to harmony.
According to recent Western scientific discoveries, acupuncture stimulates nerve endings, encourages tissue healing and reduces inflammation.
It also stimulates the nervous system to release chemical messengers such as endorphins, which change mood and reduce pain.
Acupuncture can regulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system (involving the flight/flight/rest/digest reactions of the body). It also regulates the function of internal organs via mediation of spinal nerves and the hypothalamus.
Both Chinese Traditional Medicine and Western perspectives on acupuncture are valid in their own way. The art of the traditional acupuncturist is to discern where subtle energy is blocked and return it to healthy balance. The science of the modern acupuncturist is to understand how that process works.
Ear (Auricular) Acupuncture
Developed in the 1950s by French doctor and medical research scientist Dr Paul Nogier, ear (auricular) therapy has become an important part of both Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern acupuncture practice.
Ear (auricular) therapy can have excellent effects on specific conditions as well as increasing the overall benefit of traditional acupuncture. Of specific advantage is the daily stimulation of tiny ball bearings covered with an adhesive strip which are placed on points in the ear, resulting in increased additional benefit for the patient.
Ear (auricular) therapy also contains protocols for the treatment of trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Again initially developed in the 1950s, this method of acupuncture stimulates areas of the brain and is used for more serious conditions. Scalp acupuncture is gaining more scientific interest as a consequence of its positive results during treatment.
This treatment is generally administered more frequently and is felt more strongly by the patient.