Acupuncture is very new in the western world and this makes it somewhat difficult to explain how I, as an acupuncturist, will work with your body and its own self-healing mechanisms to restore harmony.
Before medicine, as we know it today, each country and culture had its own theories and strategies as to the best way to regain balance in the body.
In Chinese Medicine acupuncture was and still is predominantly used. If you were to visit a hospital in China it is highly likely the treatment received would be a combination of both Western and Chinese Medicine, including Acupuncture and herbs.
Qi is an energy which runs through your body in channels, known as meridians. Qi is invisible to the eye and most people find it relatively difficult to feel. It has in the past been described to me as an electromagnetic field of the body, which I find a good way to explain how it works. Bearing this in mind, you need a circuit to be working harmoniously to achieve optimum benefits. For example, if there is a fault somewhere, like say on a Christmas tree when the lights aren't working properly, it takes time and patience to find the fault and correct it. The same can be said for the human body, it is hugely complex and can sometimes take perseverance to restore harmony.
In acupuncture we strive to balance the energy (Qi) of your body because it is understood that disease occurs when your Qi has become either:
Stagnant and you may feel pain in one specific area, ie:tense muscle
Deficient and therefore weak, tired, or prone to illness or
Excessive and that can manifest as a headache for example.
Each and everybody, literally everybody, are completely unique. This may be demonstrated and observed in a situation where you and a friend both eat the same food or take a certain prescribed drug, but yet it affects each of you differently. Another aspect to consider when deciding whether Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is for you, is that it is not only the physical aspect of your body examined. The emotional balance will be taken into consideration. You may have experienced that when you are sad, you have a lack of energy, or when you are stressed your eczema becomes inflamed or your muscles become tense. This is a clear illustration that your emotions can and do have an effect on the physical actions of your body.
There is a lot of research about acupuncture but it is worth understanding that this practise is new to our Western world and therefore it is sometimes difficult to understand why it isn't more widely used in day to day treatment. Remember that acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China and it is only due to lack of current research standards that it isn't more commonly used in our main medical system. This will hopefully be changed in the future and acupuncture will be integrated into our system as it uses solely the body and its own healing mechanisms to rebalance and resolve disease with no external medication.
Please view the links below to observe recent literature into Acupuncture and its uses in daily life.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) do recommend Acupuncture in the use of some ailments.
Journal of Chinese Medicine - http://www.jcm.co.uk/ is a peer reviewed magazine, highly recognised within the Western Acupuncture world.
British Acupuncture Council - http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/, is one of the Councils which thrive to keep Acupuncture at a highly professional level.