Acupuncture

Traditional acupuncture is one of the oldest systems of medicine in history, which dates, as far back as four thousand years. It has continuously evolved to cater for the changing needs of individuals. It is a complex system based, on the Taoist belief that we live in a universe in which everything is interconnected. What happens to one part of the body affects every other part of the body. The mind and body are not viewed separately, but as part of an energetic system. Similarly, organs and organ systems are viewed as interconnected structures that work together to keep the body functioning well.

In traditional Chinese medicine qi (pronounced "chi"), is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the workings of the human mind and body. Qi flows through the body via channels, or pathways, which are called meridians. There are a total of 20 meridians: 12 primary meridians, which correspond to specific organs, organ systems or functions, and eight secondary meridians. An imbalances in the flow of qi cause illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points, which lie on these meridians, just beneath the surface of the skin to help rebalance the flow of qi.

Traditional acupuncture teachings were based on an integrated union of many concepts such as the Yin Yang and the Five Elements theories.

The British Medical Association offered its opinion on the subject at the BMA's annual conference in London in June 2000. The association published a report: Acupuncture: Efficacy, Safety and Practice, which acknowledged the scientific benefits of acupuncture and recommended that the treatment be incorporated into the National Health Service.

Since then, a number of extensive clinical trials have been conducted and new research is beginning to provide quantifiable evidence of acupuncture’s efficacy in treating many common health conditions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists a wide variety of diseases and disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials. Please click here: The World Health Organisation website for further information.

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