An acupuncture treatment, what to expect... Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practiced in China and other Eastern countries for over 2000 years. The tradition is as much about the maintenance of health as the management of disease. Acupuncture works on our internal energy, also known as Qi, to re-establish a balance between our physical, mental and emotional being. Restoring this natural balance empowers our body to heal and protect itself against illness and disease. An acupuncture treatment is completely tailored to suit each individual's needs, as we are unique beings so each treatment is very different. The first session involves me taking a detailed case history to get a full picture, which is then followed by a treatment. The needles used are very fine, hair like and sterile. When they are inserted into the skin there is no pain, just a dull sensation then a period of relaxation. A treatment may involve just acupuncture, or a combination of tui na massage, cupping and moxibustion. Clothing may have to be removed just to gain access to the area of the body being treated.
Cupping uses glass cups that are put on various areas of the body, mainly the back. The cups are used to increase circulation, clear toxins, activate acupuncture points and help undo knots in tight and stressed shoulders. The cups can be used in combination with acupuncture and tui na massage, their ability to promote circulation and ease tension in the shoulders means they can help treat many ailments from aches and pains to tension and headaches. I find that I use these more than ever in clinic. They are a very effective way of treating knots with deep stimulation without having to give the body an aggressive pummelling. They do leave marks, as have often been seen on various celebrities. These marks are where the cups are clearing deep muscular tension.
Moxibustion is a herb that is commonly used in acupuncture and tui na to heat specific areas of the body. It can be used on its own to activate an acupucntcure point or channel, or directly on the needle to enhance a treatment. Using moxa is an excellent way of heating the body and warming us in the cold damp British weather. Having needles heated with moxa has often been described as a "warm hug"!