What is Acupuncture?
Vital energy (qi) travels along channels in the body. When in health, this flow is smooth and uninterrupted. When ill, this flow is disturbed. Many people have noticed that when they are stressed or overworked, they become ill more easily – but when they are in good health and happy with life, their health is rarely an issue.
Acupuncturists seek to find and treat the root cause of disease, with the physical, mental and emotional aspects of life seen as interdependent. By needling specific points along the meridians, they unblock and restore the smooth flow of energy, stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
As treatment brings relief, and restores a natural state of balance to mind as well as body, many patients describe feeling a greater sense of self.
How does it work?
Acupuncture works by inserting fine needles into specific points on the body, along meridians (energy channels), to restore your flow of qi. Many people describe a dull ache, or pulling sensation at the point, and sometimes a sensation along the exact channel, even though they don’t know it exists.
There are over 350 points on the human body, but as each person is a unique individual, a Classical Five Element acupuncturist will select points particularly relevant for you, as well as understanding your symptoms and medical history. We don’t work to a specific plan or protocol, instead we develop a treatment plan for each individual, enabling them to achieve their full potential.
Acupuncturists will often also use moxa prior to needling. Moxa is a soft woolly substance prepared from mugwort leaves (Artemisia Vulgaris). During moxibustion, an essential part of Chinese medicine, the moxa is placed either directly on the skin, or held just above specific acupuncture points. As it smoulders slowly, a therapeutic warmth penetrates the skin and affects the flow of qi and blood in the area being treated. Moxibustion is a specialist technique demanding skilled clinical judgement and is contraindicated in certain cases.
The Five Elements
There are several different types of acupuncture throughout the world, as throughout the ages, different styles of treatment have emerged. Jeanie practises Classical Five Element acupuncture. According to Chinese philosophy, all of the universe is manifested in the Five Elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. They make up the world in which we live, and influence how we function throughout our lives: each element is responsible for the different organs in our body, and different seasons in nature. In nature, the elements correspond with the seasons:
The energy of Spring – gives us structure to plan our lives, and helps us see a sense of future, hope and possibility
The energy of Summer – gives us the ability to give and receive love, communicate with others, and feel warmth and joy
The energy of Late Summer – enables us to nurture ourselves and others, to show empathy and caring. The time of harvest, it brings contentment and stability
The energy of Autumn – allows us to experience our sense of quality and self-worth, as well as giving us the ability to let go
The energy of Winter – gives us our identity and will to survive through our ability to adapt.
The individual combination of these elements show up as our strengths and weaknesses. Most of us have a primary imbalance: one element that is weaker than the others. By strengthening and nurturing this element, the patient is returned to health.