Acupuncture for children and adults at Holistic Ealing
Acupuncture works to help maintain your body's equilibrium. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of 'Qi'- your body's vital energy. For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons, Qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in some symptoms of pain and illness. Acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.
Treatment is aimed at the root of the condition as well as the main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving the problem and enhancing feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with western medicine.
Acupuncture also includes other techniques such as cupping, moxibustion, guasha, or acupressure.
Please visit my acupuncture Blog where there is lots of interesting information on acupuncture theory and treatment.
Moxibustion is one of traditional Chinese medicine using the heat stimulation by burning mugwort (mainly Artemisia vulgaris or Artemisia argyi) on acupuncture points, and regarded as a subtype of acupuncture.
There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. The direct use of moxa is when it placed on the point and lit, but is extinguished or removed before it reaches the level of the skin, as soon as patients feels the heat. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area warms up.
* picture of direct and indirect moxa that are being used by Kate
The roles of moxibustion can be broadly grouped into warm nourishing, warm dredging, and warm melting. Warm nourishing refers to the benefits of warming Yang, tonifying qi, nurturing blood, and relieving depletion; warm dredging refers to the functions of activating blood, dissolving stasis, promoting qi, dredging channels, and relieving pain; warm melting refers to the roles of reducing phlegm, eliminating stagnation, removing wind, dispelling dampness, drawing out poison, and purging heat. Some people believe that warm dredging is the nature of moxibustion and is the key role of moxibustion effects. The functions of moxibustion, expelling cold, promoting the circulation in meridians and collaterals, clearing away heat, detoxification, and so forth, are dependant on the efficacy of moxibustion for circulating qi and blood flow ( Wang L-L. Characteristic of moxibustion and its warming-dredging effect. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion. 2011;31(10):865–868.)
The name gua sha — pronounced gwahshah — comes from the Chinese word for scraping. It may also be called skin scraping, spooning, or coining.
It is a form of Chinese massage in which an oil is applied on the skin a single use metal tool is being used to apply pressure and move down the muscles/along the acupuncture meridians to relieve pain and tension. This action may cause light “bruising like”, which often appears as purple or red spots known as petechiae or “sha” The discolouration normally clears within a week.
Gua sha is most often used to relieve muscle and joint pain. Conditions of the muscles and bones are known as musculoskeletal disorders. Some examples include back pain, tendon strain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A 2014 study found that gua sha improved the range of movement and reduced pain in people who used computers frequently compared with a control group that had no treatment.
In a 2017 study, weightlifters who had gua sha felt that lifting weights took less effort after treatment. This could suggest that the treatment speeds up muscle recovery.
* stages of guasha, very light to some stronger petechiae called sha
Cupping utilizes round suction cups over a large muscular area (such as at the back) to enhance blood circulation to the designated area. Bruising-like changes on skin, or small blistering may appear and last up to a week to subside.
One 2017 study published in BMJ Open involved a systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials on patients with neck pain. After analyzing the data, the authors concluded that “cupping was found to reduce neck pain in patients compared with no intervention or active control groups, or as an add on treatment.”
* cupping done on a young patient, last picture is of tyme tea cupping for very productive, phlegmy cough
Integrated Acupuncture treatment combines: Five Elements and TCM styles of Acupuncture. In my Clinic I diagnose based on those principles and accordingly use needles, moxa or cupping to support the body in healing process. Each patient is diagnosed as a unique person and treated as such. An individualized plan is designed during an initial appointment to understand the underlying causes of imbalances.
The Five Element acupuncture is based on the cyclical flow of vital energy – called Qi. Each of the Five Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water – represent a distinct quality of the Qi energy that is vital to the continual health and flow of nature. Chinese observed that these qualities can be found in nature, so can they be found in every living being. Understanding the inter-relationships of the Elements within and using them as a guide, I can diagnose and treat the root of a person’s illness, restoring health to the body, mind and spirit. In order to establish the root (Constitutional Factor - CF) I would observe colour, sound, odour and emotion.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The theory of Yin and Yang is fundamental to the practice of TCM in terms of understanding, diagnosing, and treating health issues. At the most basic and deep level, TCM treatment seeks to balance Yin and Yang in each person. Everything contains Yin and Yang. They are two opposite yet complementary energies. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they relay on each other and cannot be separated.
How acupuncture treats
The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists a wide variety of diseases & disorders for which acupuncture has been tested in controlled clinical trials and has been proved to be an effective treatment, such as: Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever) Depression (including depression following stroke) Dysmenorrhoea, Facial pain, Headache, Hypertension, Induction of labour, Knee pain, Low back pain, Malposition of fetus, Correction of Morning sickness, Nausea and vomiting, Neck pain, Postoperative pain, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sciatica, Sprain, Stroke, Tennis elbow. Full list of conditions is here
British Acupuncture Council publishes up to date research fact sheets on conditions and how acupuncture may be beneficial.For a comprehensive research articles on conditions please follow links below to the British Acupuncture Council’s website (those will open in another window):
Examples of treatment modalities
BAcC: Acupuncture and menopause
BAcC: Acupuncture and lower back