The Benefits of Acupuncture
What is Acupuncture?
Based on observational evidence acupuncture has been an essential part of medicine in the East for thousands of years. According to Chinese philosophy, the body contains two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy and qi (energy) flows smoothly around the body. However if there is physical or emotional injury the flow of qi can become blocked resulting in pain and distress. Acupuncture works by tapping into special points in the meridians, using fine needles to redirect qi flow, balance yin and yang and enable the body to heal.
In the West acupuncture is one of the fastest growing and most popular complementary therapies and is used to treat a large range of different conditions that manifest physically, mentally and spiritually.
Much research has been carried out into the effects of acupuncture and it has been shown to have many physiological effects including increasing endorphin secretions that can reduce pain. Other scientific studies have shown that it can treat ailments ranging from osteoarthritis to migraine headaches.
Although much remains unknown regarding the mechanism behind the therapeutic effect of acupuncture, it is encouraging that a number of significant acupuncture-related biological changes can be identified
A list of current research can be found on the British acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.
When practised by a fully qualified acupuncturist, acupuncture is one of the safest therapies on offer in the UK and has very few side effects.
Unlike most conventional medicines it can be used for many symptoms and conditions simultaneously and people often choose acupuncture because they feel unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others use acupuncture as a preventive measure to maintain good health.
Very often, people return to acupuncture again and again because they find it so beneficial and relaxing providing them with an overall general sense of well-being. The World Health Organisation lists a wide variety of diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials including:
· Allergies/ hay fever
· Back and neck pain and sciatica
· Blood pressure and circulation problems
· Fertility, pregnancy and post-natal difficulties
· Vascular dementia