The basis of acupuncture lies in the belief that in order for the body to function optimally, a natural life force, known as Chi, has to be able to flow unimpeded, throughout the body. The acupuncturist assesses where the flow may be blocked and uses appropriate points along defined pathways, known as meridians, or channels, to encourage the restoration of appropriate energetic movement. There are 12 main channels that cover the head, torso and limbs.
Acupuncture has been in use for several thousand years and is often attributed to ancient China and the publication of a book called “Classic of Internal Medicine of the Yellow Emperor” which was produced between the first century BC and the first century AD. However, the discovery of Otzi, the Iceman, a glacier mummy, in the Tyrol in 1991 indicates that we may have had an acupuncture tradition in Europe 5000 years ago.
Nowadays, acupuncture is used around the globe for a wide variety of conditions, with much success. The body of research is large and steadily growing. Take a look at the British Acupuncture Council’s site for an extensive list of current research.
The acupuncturist uses various diagnostic tools in order to decide which points to needle: pulse and tongue diagnosis, signs and symptoms, abdominal palpation, observation and traditional point usage. The initial consultation, lasting up to two hours, focuses on building a picture of the patient’s health challenges through the use of these tools along with detailed discussion.
Sterilised, single use needles are then inserted in turn into the selected acupuncture points. Depending on the effect required, the needles may be left in the body for a few minutes, or removed immediately. The needles are extremely fine and far smaller than the needles used for medical procedures. Acupuncture points are not simply fanciful places on the body that have been made up by ancient health practitioners, they are measurable locations of lower electrical resistance.
With over 300 acupuncture points to choose from, acupuncture requires thorough training to be an effective practitioner. At the Wellhaven Clinic all our acupuncturists have completed at least a 3 year degree in traditional acupuncture and continue to complete additional courses every year.