Looking for an alternative treatment? Whether it’s because previous attempts to treat your ailments with conventional therapy have failed, or if you simply want to use methods that are more in line with your philosophies and ethics, then ‘alternative’ treatments can be found to offer another way to achieve better health and wellbeing.
Obviously there are limitations to how much alternative methods can cope with serious diseases and infections, and you must consult with trusted doctors and advisers before you dismiss proven Western medicinal treatments, but if you are looking to alleviate minor pain and health issues, or are looking for a complementary treatment to use in addition to other methods then go right ahead. ‘Complimentary’ or alternative therapies are difficult to categorize as they cover such a wide range of disciplines. Some may consider hypnosis on par with acupuncture, while others see them in two different camps completely. What is acupuncture? Acupuncture is a traditional medical practice involving the stimulation of certain points on the body – often with a needle penetrating the skin – to alleviate pain such as back or neck pain, or help treat various health conditions. It is often used as part of a holistic care package along with medicinal Chinese herbal treatments in order to offer patients a greater sense of health and wellbeing. Although many in the Western world have dismissed the long-term benefits of acupuncture as a hoax, placebo or sham, it has been proven by various studies to have a beneficial impact when treating pain and nausea. Practitioners in Europe and the United States now use acupuncture more and more as part of treatments to alleviate pain. How does it work? For those working under the Western methodology then acupuncture is used following the identification of health issues that cause pain. Its main function is to treat this pain rather than the causes of it or prevention of future injuries. It involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body so that the body produces natural substances, such as endorphins which are known for their pain relieving impact on the body. A longer treatment course of acupuncture is known to create longer lasting pain relief, however it is not considered to be an ultimate cure. Traditional acupuncture based on Easter principles understand acupuncture as a belief that energy, or “life force”, flows through the body. This life force also known as Qi is manipulated by acupuncture to varying degrees of effect. Traditional beliefs dictate that Qi doesn’t flow freely through the body if blockages or obstacles are caused and this can lead to illness. Acupuncture is therefore a way to restore balance and the natural flow of Qi. Origins of acupuncture Acupuncture is generally held to have originated in China, being first mentioned in documents dating from a few hundred years leading up to the Common Era. It is considered one of the oldest practices of traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine dictates that acupuncture is linked to disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Acupuncture stimulates specific parts of the body that lie under the skin called acupuncture points or acupressure points. By doing this you are able to release qi that is blocked and restore a natural flow. The qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) is then able to travel through channels called meridians allowing the individual to feel restored and well. Uses of acupuncture Acupuncture practitioners – or acupuncturists – use acupuncture to treat a huge range of health conditions. This is especially the case with non-NHS practices that also offer other complementary treatments based on Eastern principles. The most common uses for acupuncture are: Chronic pain (neck, back and shoulders) Joint pain
Dental pain Postural pain London Acupuncture clinics can be found all over the city for those in need of this treatment method. Also, if you are consulting with an NHS doctor then you might be able to receive acupuncture as part of your pain relief treatment.