Acupuncture is a healing system which has been practiced in Eastern cultures for thousands of years and is now popular worldwide. According to traditional philosophy our health is dependant on Qi (Chi, Ki) or vita energy which flows throughout our body. When Qi is strong and flowing smoothly we are healthy, but if our Qi becomes deficient or doesn’t move freely we can become unwell. The flow of Qi can be disrupted by many factors, such as emotional stress, over work, infections and traumas. Acupuncture involves inserting ultra fine sterile disposable needles superficially into chosen points along meridians (energy channels) to regulate the flow of Qi, stimulate the body’s natural healing responses and restore balance.
One of the ways acupuncture achieves this re-balancing is by working with our nervous system, calming the sympathetic (fight or flight) response and supporting the parasympathetic system which initiates relaxation responses and allows our bodies and minds to calm down and enter a healing state.
Recent scientific and western medical research has shown that acupuncture stimulates the body to release natural painkillers and molecules associated with healing, tissue repair and disease resolution. Specific acupuncture points relate to specific nerve pathways stimulating responses in those organs and areas of the body the pathways relate to. Myofasial pathways correspond very closely to the meridians described in early acupuncture texts. It is possible early acupuncturists had knowledge of how cells in the body communicate which is only recently being rediscovered.
People have acupuncture for a wide variety of reasons – stress and anxiety, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, headaches, fatigue, menstrual and menopausal issues (to name but a few). Many people also have acupuncture to boost their constitution and for general wellbeing.