Acupuncture is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine and involves the insertion of ultra-fine needles into specific points on the body, to achieve a desired therapeutic effect. Acupuncture is a complementary alternative therapy now very popular in the UK, after being used here for decades.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. It works by stimulating the chi points in the body, which is energy and also known as Qi. The chi points are connected to each other by meridians in the body. By stimulating the chi points it opens the meridians and allows energy to flow freely. Acupuncture involves the insertion of ultra-fine needles into specific chi points in the skin, depending on the ailment. The chi points are stimulated and work to remove blockages in the meridians, so energy can flow properly in the body. Restoring the chi flow regulates our bodies and allows issues to be healed.
There are 670 standard acupuncture points which cover the body from head to toe, and each standard acupuncture point is located on a specific meridian. The meridians correspond to major organ systems and we can think of meridians like maps of major energy, or ‘chi’ that flow throughout the body. During acupuncture the needles are inserted into these points to regulate the circulation by stimulating the chi energy. Chi is energy and all life forms are made up of different manifestations of this Qi energy. It cannot be destroyed or created, and instead is converted into different forms.
Acupuncture works by tapping into the bodies energy to regulate our biological processes.
It’s amazing that this healing practice was developed 4 to 5000 years ago and is still used today, and better known that ever. Acupuncture is a means for the body to stimulate and regulate its own function. The power comes from the special placement of needles which sends a strong signal to the brain that a certain area of our body needs attention. Our brains are very busy with billions of synapses per second and sometimes signals in certain biological pathways are lost. It’s a kind of malfunction in the body which acupuncture is able to fix and restore completely holistically. Acupuncture addresses this for problem areas of our bodies and minds, by focusing our brain's activity on giving specific coordinated signals.
The type of signal provided by acupuncture depends on what problem needs to be addressed and acupuncture is an extremely dynamic tool for healing and can heal a broad spectrum of conditions. This ranges from pain and insomnia to infertility and stress. Generally multiple treatments are required to achieve long lasting affects, as each additional treatment reinforces the healing signals to the brain. The practitioner will often use different meridian point combinations to encourage the brain to regulate the body on its own. All treatments require a detailed patient consultation and the actual methods employed are always custom tailored to everyone.
Does Acupuncture Improve Skin?
Acupuncture is also great for skin health and is more and more becoming a known anti-ageing method. We love it because it is natural like Nakin's Natural Skincare. We have read that some people even use it as an alternative to Botox, as it is such a powerful natural aesthetic treatment. The ways that acupuncture improves skin is listed below:
- Tones and lifts skin
- Increases oxygen that helps to increase collagen production
- Improves circulation and blood flow
- Relaxes and reduces inflammation
- Helps with digestion and sleep which both contribute to good skin
- Addresses internal problems such as hormonal imbalances which improve skin
Benefits of Acupuncture for Body & Mind
Acupuncture can treat a huge range of physical and mental health conditions, and where it cannot completely cure something it will assist towards curing an issue. Whatever your condition it’s worth consulting an acupuncturist to see how they can help. We found these statistics from Heart Spring Health as proof of the benefits of acupuncture to some common health conditions. We love that it is able to help with conditions that really affect physical plus mental health and quality of life, without the use of any synthetic chemicals and medications. Acupuncture is also pretty much side effect free when carried out by a certified practitioner and new unused sterile needles are used.
- 84% of patients with whiplash from a motor vehicle accident improve after one year
- 70% of women with mild to moderate depression experienced at least a 50% reduction in symptoms after 12 acupuncture treatments
- Insomnia patients are able to sleep 3+ hours at a time after using acupuncture
- 80% of migraine patients’ symptoms disappear within 6 months after receiving their first acupuncture treatment
- Acupuncture treatment results in a 33% reduction in lower back pain
What Happens During an Acupuncture Session?
Each practitioner and treatment may vary, but generally follows the steps below:
- A detailed consultation between the patient and practitioner is carried out to understand the problems, and always ensure that the practitioner is qualified
- An acupuncture session usually lasts about 30 minutes to an hour
- Once the treatment is established the patient will lie on a table face down or face up
- The needles used should always be disposable needles taken from a sealed package
- The acupuncturist inserts the needles as required, and there may be a slight sharp sensation
- Sometimes the practitioner will attach electrodes to the needles in the points for an extra electrical boost to the treatment
- Some people feel energised by treatment, while others feel relaxed
- Benefits may be seen immediately, but several treatments are recommended for long lasting effects