Acupuncture, ever since the 1970’s, has become increasingly popular in the UK and is used to treat a diversity of illnesses, although its roots come from thousands of years ago. Traditional acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine – a tried and tested healthcare system that has been practiced in China and the Far East. It has been developed, tested, researched and refined over centuries to give us a complex and detailed understanding of the body’s energetic balance.
So, you may have heard of it and its benefits, but what actually is it? Acupuncturists insert very fine needles at very specific points to connect with your body’s qi. They will then decide which points are right for your body, and will often give you a consultation covering every aspect of your health and lifestyle. The aim of acupuncture is to direct the flow of qi to trigger your body’s healing response. This, in turn will help to restore physical, emotional and mental equilibrium. Acupuncturists trust that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body’s qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. In the western world we live in today there are pills and drugs for every illness under the sun, but more and more of us are opting for acupuncture as a healthy alternative cure.
There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common.
However, whilst acupuncture has proved to have the ability to treat a variety of illnesses from cancer to pregnancy and sleep problems, in the UK we currently only use acupuncture to treat two conditions, lower back pain (which costs the NHS £1bn a year) and headaches. It seems, the UK lags behind many other European countries in its support for acupuncture. Just 2,500 medical professionals here are qualified to practice it, compared with 45,000 in Germany, (The Guardian). Equally, a growing body of healthcare practitioners believe it should be offered routinely for a variety of conditions, including pain in labour, cancer, musculoskeletal conditions and even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). So it seems, we may have a long way to go until the real benefits of acupuncture are received in this country, although, we at Exeter Acupuncture practice traditional and medical acupuncture. With 12 years of experience, we also pride ourselves in osteopathy, physiotherapy, sports massager and nutritional therapy and herbal medicine, so whatever your needs, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.