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How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practised in China for some 3500 years. According to Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on the body’s life energy, known as ‘qi’, moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin.

An acupuncture practitioner places great importance on having a thorough understanding of the person, their environment and history. The aim is to establish the root cause of the problem, not just treat the symptoms. Healing therefore occurs at a deeper level, and as a result many people feel much better not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

A detailed medical history is taken, and a diagnosis and treatment plan can be formulated. An initial session usually lasts about 2 hours. By taking a number of pulses on each wrist, an acupuncturist can determine the overall balance of energy within the body. By stimulating points on the energy channels with very fine needles, an acupuncturist can promote the body’s own healing responses and help to restore its natural balance.

Acupuncture can be successfully used to treat a number of conditions. These include anxiety attacks, headaches, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, injuries, asthma, stress, hay fever and allergies, menstrual and gynaecological disorders, teenage health problems, to name just a few. Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional medicine and medications in the treatment of both acute and chronic disease and has now gained rightful credibility in the UK: it is now recognised by the NHS as a response for certain conditions and is often covered by medical insurance for private healthcare.

Research now shows that acupuncture can be of great benefit to couples suffering with infertility. Treatment can also be given to prepare for and assist IVF treatments. The NHS now recognises the benefits of this, and has issued leaflets to support women who wish to do this.

The Ancient Chinese thought that it was much better to prevent disease rather than just cure it. They used acupuncture to prevent sickness, due to its very balancing effects on the body, mind and spirit. Many people now have regular acupuncture treatments as a preventative measure, and to increase the general feeling of well being in their lives.

You can learn more from the British Acupuncture Council's web site www.acupuncture.org.uk.