. . . balance the body, mind and Qi
Acupuncture is the art of inserting fine needles into carefully chosen points along specific energetic pathways or channels of the body. It is a holistic and drug free form of treatment that stimulates your body’s own healing response.
Acupuncture has been practiced in eastern countries for thousands of years and is now a respected form of treatment in the west to help a wide range of conditions. It can be used as a stand alone treatment or alongside western medicine. Acupuncture can help people of all ages, including pregnant women and children. Having acupuncture treatment harmonises the flow, the Quality and the Quanitity of Qi throughout your body bringing about better health.
There are many styles of acupuncture. I practice a combination of 5 elements, TCM and Stems & Branches Acupuncture.
what is Qi?
Qi loosely translates into English as 'Vital Energy' or 'Lifeforce'. Qi is the basis of life and everything we know. It is what sustains and heals us, so it is important to keep our Qi in good condition.
- Acupuncture provides healthy Qi for the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and nerves.
- Acupuncture provides healthy Qi for all the organ systems of the body, positively influencing the function of the Heart, Lungs, Liver, Kidneys, Spleen, Pancreas, Stomach, Small- Intestine, Large Intestine, Gallbladder and Bladder, the Brain and the Reproductive organs.
- By harmonising the Mind and Body, acupuncture can help with mental problems such as poor memory, poor concentration and emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, grief, guilt, anger, irritability, frustration and low mood.
As well as an improvement in symptoms, many people experience an enhanced sense of well-being and vitality following acupuncture.Due to it’s harmonising and nourishing effects it can be used to increase energy levels, boost the immune system and reduce the effects of stress.
Acupuncture treats the 'person' rather than the 'condition', so every treatment is different according to your own symptoms and healing process. Treatments are tailor made to suit your particular needs.
How does acupuncture work?
Qi flows around the body via a complex matrix of channels called meridians (energy lines). Although invisible to the naked eye, this energy system permeates the whole body influencing the vital organs, the blood vessels the nerves and muscles, the ligaments and bones. Qi flow also effects us mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When the flow of Qi within the meridians is disrupted – illness can develop. This can begin with not feeling 100% and can develop into serious disease if left untreated. Many things can impact on the meridian system and consequently have a profound effect on our health:
- Accidents/Physical Trauma
- Emotions: eg Grief, Worry, Fear, Anger, Resentment, Low Self Esteem, Guilt or Shock
- Climate: Extremes of Cold, Heat, Dryness, Wind and Damp
- What you eat
- Lifestyle + exercise - how you live
- Genetics and Constitution
All unhealthy and painful conditions that you may experience are due to a disruption of the quantity, quality or flow of Qi (life force energy) in the body. Being a holistic form of medicine, acupuncture can be used to improve a wide range of problems.
My treatments are specific to each person and aim at promoting health and well-being while reducing the signs, symptoms and development of disease. We will talk about your symptoms, your current health, past medical history, lifestyle, sleep, diet, exercise, medications and supplements.
To discover how your body’s energies are flowing, the 12 Pulses will be felt and their Quality, Rhythm and Strength noted.
Observation of the Tongue is also an important part of diagnosis - the colour, shape and coating noted.
Assessing your Pulse and Tongue are the two main tools that help me to build a picture of how the Qi is flowing in your meridian system, the health of your organs, the state of your Qi & Blood and the balance of Yin &Yang.
The next step is the gentle application of very fine needles into carefully chosen points (energy gates) along the Qi channels. There are hundreds of points which have different actions and can dramatically influence the Qi flow, quality and quantity, as they stimulate the bodys own healing response. The process of acupuncture helps restore the body to a state of natural balance. In general, between 2 and 6 needles will be used. They are usually left in place for about 20 minutes. More needles does not mean a better treatment, even one needle can change the whole balance of the body if put in the right place.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese Medical technique used to strongly stimulate the flow of blood and energy to areas of pain, injury, numbness, poor Qi flow etc. The increased circulation and Qi flow promote healing and a faster recovery. Cupping is often practised alongside acupuncture but can also be a ‘stand-alone’ treatment.
The technique involves creating a vacuum inside roundcups that are placed over the affected areas. The cups are left in place for up to 20 minutes.
If large areas of the body need treating, a technique known as ‘sliding cups’ is used. A thin layer of massage oil is spread over the skin; the cups are placed onto the body in the normal way and then slide along the muscles being treated.
Cupping can feel slightly uncomfortable when the cups are first put on but this sensation of tightness quickly passes.
It is not uncommon for the cups to leave marks like circular bruises. These are not painful but can last for a week or so.
The bruising on the skin indicates that there has been movement in the circulation of blood that has become stagnant in that area due to injury or deficiency of Qi. As the treatment progresses the stagnation turns to flow and this reaction will lessen. If you have a stubborn pain in a muscle or joint - a few cupping sessions could really make a difference.
Moxa Chinese Medicine includes the application of MOXIBUSTION - a treatment that uses moxa, a soft woolly substance prepared from mugwort leaves (Artemisia vulgaris). MOXA is placed either directly on the skin or held just above it, or attached to a needle over specific acupuncture points. The herb is lit and as it smoulders slowly, a therapeutic heat permeates the skin and affects the flow of "qi" (energy) and blood in the area being treated. Moxa is also available in a tincture which can be rubbed into the skin and then heat is applied or in cigar like sticks that smoulder and are held over the affected area. It activates Qi and can be used to help joints that are affected by cold and damp. It is also used to help increase energy in certain deficient conditions.
Does it hurt?
Generally you will hardly notice the needles and often people are surprised that the needles are in without them feeling them. You may experience a mild tingling or sensation of heaviness around the needle. Generally acupuncture is not painful. Modern needles are incredibly fine and the needles are not usually a problem for people at all.
What about safety?
Sterile disposable needles are used and a strict code of practice laid down by the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists is followed.
How many treatments will I need?
This varies from person to person. Sometimes the effects are dramatic and only one or two treatments are required. Other times, there is a slow improvement and the treatments will continue for several months. In general, acute conditions require less treatment than chronic longstanding ones.
We all tune our cars to keep them running at an optimum and it’s a good idea to apply this philosophy to ourselves. A monthly tune-up is a really good investment in your health. It can enhance a feeling of wellbeing and vitality, increase energy levels, boost the immune system and reduce the effects of stress. It can also help prevent the progression or development of illness. Many people opt for regular tune-ups just to feel good!
diet and lifestyle
Positve changes and adjustments to your current diet and lifestyle may be suggested according to your particular needs.