There seems to be a lot of confusion over what acupuncture can treat, I get asked this question all the time, when people find out what I do, bearing in mind Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture has been used in China for about 2500 years, it is a more holistic approach to medicine with the view that each mechanism in the body affects all others, so in order to ensure the health of the body or person, you need to look at all the parts and treat accordingly.
TCM acupuncture helps the body to heal itself, so any condition you may present with, be it Migraine, back pain, Tennis elbow, IBS etc. etc. then acupuncture can treat it, because through the diagnosis, which involves taking a full case history, taking the pulse and analysing the tongue the practitioner will try to treat the root cause of the illness as well as the symptoms which helps the body re balance and heal itself. Acupuncture also helps your body to create the right environment for healing.
Traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis is based on eight principles, those being, Yin and Yang, Hot and cold, Internal and External and excess and deficiency, alongside these eight principles we look at the whole person and how they present at that exact moment in time. This means the treatments each week may vary depending on presentation.
Very fine sterile needles are inserted at points on the body which are found on any one of the 12 channels/meridians carrying qi through the body in the same way as veins and arteries carry blood. These points are determined by a diagnosis as mentioned previously. Every patient is treated differently according to how they present at that precise moment in time.
TCM Acupuncture also uses other methods of treatment including: Fire Cupping, Slide cupping, Moxibustion, Electro acupuncture, Ear acupuncture and Tui Na massage.
In a recent analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain, such as back pain and headaches – more so than standard pain treatment. Real acupuncture also produced slightly better results than using sham needles, which suggests the benefits of needling are due to more than the placebo effect.
The researchers discovered that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, Osteoarthritis and migraine. Although within this research these were the only conditions proven to respond to acupuncture, it has also been proven in other studies to work on other pain conditions such as arthritis, knee pain and most other pain conditions. It has also been proven an effective treatment for anxiety and depression.
Another major advantage of using it is that acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is remarkably safe with few, if any, negative side effects, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.