Traditional Acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years. It is a positive model of good health and function and looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture treatment, is to restore the body’s equilibrium. What makes this system so uniquely suited to modern life is that the physical, emotional and mental are seen as interdependent. We use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for centuries. The focus is on the individual, not their illness, and all the symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
The underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body’s Qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely, or has the wrong quality. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, prescription medication, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a free flow is re-established, or the quality is changed in some way, to restore balance and trigger the body’s natural healing response.
Traditional Acupuncture has a long history of adapting to new cultures in which it is practiced. Its growing popularity and acceptance in the West promotes new techniques and variations on the ancient themes, and applying them to 21st century knowledge of anatomy and physiology is very exciting. In the early 60s the Chinese government commissioned the development of a uniform system of diagnosis and treatment, somewhat misleadingly referred to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Up until then nearly all training had been apprentice-style with masters, usually within families. Classical Chinese Medicine (Stems and Branches Acupuncture) is currently enjoying a Europe-wide Renaissance, thanks in part to the efforts of Peter Van Kervel, who has greatly advanced the gargantuan task of applying the concept of Qi to the vast encyclopaedia of knowledge of anatomy and physiology. As the world moves from an aliopathic health care system to one that is based more on preventative medicine and holistic principles, I sincerely believe that Acupuncture will finally earn its rightful place as part of the central core of medical disciplines keeping all people healthy.