What is Acupuncture ?
Chinese medicine Acupuncture is a unique system of medical
practice that originated in China and has been revived and
developed to become one of the most sophisticated and advanced
forms of treatment for a wide range of disorders. Fine needles
are inserted at specific points on the body’s surface.
Apart from its pain relieving and relaxing effects, acupuncture
treatment restores and balances the energy system within
the body, thereby enabling the body’s self-healing
mechanisms to work more effectively.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The insertion of needles at specific points, known as acupuncture
points, which are found on meridians (the network of energy
around the body) stimulate specific nerves which then transmit
electrical impulses to the spinal cord and the brain and
hence to the diseased area. The needles are so fine that
there is little discomfort but for a slight tingle, known
as the needle sensation. Depending on the treatment, the
needles are either withdrawn immediately or left in for
up to twenty or thirty minutes during which time there may
be a heaviness of the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
The operating philosophy of traditional acupuncture is
that disease is caused by interrupted energy flow at specific
points on the body’s surface. Acupuncture thus involves
the insertion of a needle(s) at the affected point(s) in
order to dissolve stagnation and blockage of the energy
flow which presents itself as pain while it can also stimulate
flow of energy (Qi) and harmonize energy flow in the body.
Acupuncture was developed on the understanding that there
are twelve main channels, or ‘regular meridians’
running vertically across and throughout the human body
connecting the internal organs. It is a tenet of acupuncture
that Qi flows along these meridian lines. Qi is somewhat
equivalent to the western idea of vitality or life-force.
Scientific research into acupuncture in the last 25 years
has brought a general advance in the understanding of neurophysiologic
and neuropharmacologic pain relief mechanisms as they relate
to acupuncture (the endorphin theory, the gate theory, and
DNIC (diffuse noxious inhibitory control theory). Evidence
indicates that acupuncture stimulates the release of brain
chemicals such as endorphins that function to relieve pain.
Research shows that acupuncture strengthens the immune system,
improves circulation, decreases muscle tightness, and increases
Please contact Toni at her clinic, The Berkshire
Health Clinic, where she runs specialised acupuncture clinics
for a range of health needs. All her details are on the
Contact page of the website.