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What is it all about?

It could be said that there are two main medical systems used extensively throughout the east and west, Chinese medicine and orthodox western medicine. In the west we have predominately grown up using orthodox medicine, whereas in the east, Chinese medicine has been the prevalent medical system in use.

Chinese medicine is a complete medical system of which acupuncture is one of the modalities. Acupuncture is considered a completely natural form of medicine, in that it does not add nor subtract anything via substances or chemicals, but rather instructs the body to initiate its own healing by using fine needles on very specific parts of the body.

To some extent it works on the premise that if the body can become unwell, it also has the potential for healing itself with support. For this reason, although originally introduced to the west as a pain relief treatment, many in the east and west use acupuncture to a wide range of mental and physical distress of the body.

But how does it work?

It works on the principle that our body functions as a whole complete system in which all the organs, tissues, muscular and skeletal structures, emotions and substances like blood and body fluids work together to co-create health and a feeling of wellness. The focus of the acupuncturist is to improve the overall wellbeing of the patient, addressing the root cause of ill health along with treatment for specific symptoms.

By using fine needles inserted into specific points, enables the body’s own natural healing process to be stimulated by way of meridians or channels that interconnect to organs, tissues and substances deep within the body. There have been many attempts through research to ascertain exactly how this happens. However like many areas of all medicine, much of how it works from an orthodox perspective remains elusive. What is more apparent is that Chinese medicine is a dynamic medicine capable of initiating and creating beneficial change for people.

What on earth is this mysterious qi?

In Chinese medicine, the state of one’s health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy or qi (pronounced chee). In layman's language, qi broadly means how well we fight off infection, take sufficient strength from our food, and have enough physical energy to participate in a happy and well-rounded lifestyle.

Illness is understood to arise when this natural flow of qi, or energy interactions within complex systems inside the body, become blocked or compromised as a result of various lifestyle factors including emotional states, stress, diet, overwork, family health, weather conditions, infections and injuries.

By treating the whole person the principle aim of acupuncture is to recover a healthy and natural balance between the physical and emotional self, supporting the person to move towards their upmost health.