Can acupuncture help me?
This question always pops up in the first conversation I have with people when discussing their health concerns. Almost always, acupuncture can help you – but it depends on the individual’s condition. Let’s use back pain to illustrate the point: if you have bone spurs growing on your vertebra and this is causing the pain, acupuncture can help you manage the pain and maybe reduce your pain medication but it won’t make the pain go away. If you pulled a muscle and this is causing your back pain, acupuncture will erase the pain and help your body return to normal.
Chinese medicine is a holistic approach to healing and considers signs and symptoms in terms of organ pathologies, such as Liver Qi Stagnation, or channel issues such as Wind-Damp-Heat lodged in the big toe. Chinese medicine recognises that the entire body must be treated for the condition to be resolved and in resolving the condition, acupuncture sets about rectifying the symptoms (called the “branch”) whilst working in the background at resolving the initial problem (known as the “root”).
Liver Qi Stagnation or Spleen Yang Deficiency doesn’t mean a whole lot to most people, even if they are interested in trying a different approach to health and wellness. For this reason it is helpful to understand what acupuncture can do from a Western medicine perspective. At the risk of taking a reductionist line, here is what Chinese medicine can do:
1. Reduce pain
2. Reduce inflammation
3. Restore balance to the body (homeostasis)
Interestingly, most chronic conditions and certainly all disease have these three factors present in varying proportions.
If you want to know how acupuncture might help, please feel free to email or call – I am always happy to discuss how we could approach your condition to help you feel better.
How does it feel to have acupuncture done?
Acupuncture is performed with very fine, single-use, sterile needles. You can expect different sensations to be felt on insertion of the needle, anything from nothing at all to a deep throbbing or heavy sensation. A sense of relaxation usually accompanies your needles and you will be left to enjoy some time out whilst the needles do their work.
What can I expect from having a course of acupuncture treatments?
The Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emporer’s Inner Canon) is one of the most important texts in Chinese medicine. First written over 2,000 years ago, this text has been peer reviewed over time and in many philosophical aspects remains current in the 21st century.
Chapter 1 of the Yellow Emporer’s Canon outlines what can be expected from acupuncture:
“When the five yin and six yang organs are diseased, it is like there is a thorn, a piece of dirt, a knot, or a blockage. Although the thorn may be longstanding, it can be removed. Although the dirt may be longstanding, it can be wiped away. Although the knot may be longstanding, it can be untied. Although the blockage may be longstanding, it can be opened. Those who say that old diseases cannot be taken up speak wrongly. Those who use needles should look for the cause of disease. Then the thorn can be removed, the dirt wiped clean, the knot untied and the blockage opened up. Even though a disease is longstanding, it can be stopped.”
What is Sho-ni-shin?
Sho-Ni-Shin is a gentle Japanese technique that has been used to treat children for hundreds of years. Japanese folk lore tells that the Moon Fairies handed the knowledge down to people here on earth to use on children, and for this reason Sho-Ni-Shin is also practiced around the full moon as a preventative treatment for children’s immunity and wellbeing. Aside from the lovely history, it really does make a great story to tell children who are being treated for the first time!
Being a non-invasive style of medicine that involves the use of small tools to tap, press and rub against the skin, this style of treatment can be used for babies from about the age of 4-6 weeks, right up to around 10 years old. For the first session or two, a parent of the child will usually sit on the treatment table and hold the child until he or she becomes comfortable with the process, and with me. Generally, once the child is happy, it is normal for them to start giggling during the treatment and looking forward to their treatments in the future.
Treatments usually last no longer than 15 minutes. You could expect the frequency of treatments to be once or twice per week for about one to three months – however this does depend on the individual.
Information is first collected about the child and their condition. A Chinese medicine diagnosis is made and specific to this style of treatment is diagnostic information taken from observing the dorsal digital vein of the child’s index finger. A treatment then follows – note that it is not unusual for your child to feel overwhelmed on the first treatment and refuse to be treated. Don’t be discouraged, persist with bringing your child for treatment and you open the possibility of great results and establishing a life-long love of natural health in your child.
Sho-Ni-Shin may be particularly useful in helping some of the following childhood disorders:
Bronchial asthma/chronic bronchitis
Bed wetting and insomnia
Colic or constipation
Eczema and skin rashes
Habitual nose bleeds