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What is Traditional Chinese Medicine Theory?

The theory of TCM is that the body has channels of a vital energy known as ‘Qi’, (pronounced chee) running throughout the body, interconnecting with tissue and organs. The Qi flows through channels known as ‘meridians’, each one corresponding to a different organ. For the body and mind to be in healthy working order, Qi must be allowed to flow freely and sufficiently through the body. When the flow of Qi is impaired or is insufficient, illness occurs. The flow of the meridians can be impaired by physical trauma, poor diet and pent up feelings and emotions. After a consultation, the practitioner can then deduce which meridians and corresponding organs have been affected.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific points along the meridians. These points each have specific actions along the channel and with corresponding organs. Acupuncture needles are inserted to manipulate the flow of Qi, by unblocking and moving; or by redirecting the Qi to where it is needed most. Once the correct flow has been restored, the body can again function as it should.

What does it feel like?

The most common first question asked about acupuncture is ‘does it hurt?’. There is no real sensation as the needle is inserted through the skin, but as the needle is moved in a specifically skilled way, the patient should feel a ‘dull ache’ or a slight tingly sensation. The feeling should not be unpleasant, however, the strength of the sensation can differ greatly between points and patients.

Acupuncture guidelines

It is recommended that acupuncture should not be performed on an empty stomach, or if the patient is feeling feint. The patient should not consume drugs or alcohol prior to or immediately after the treatment, as this could seriously affect the results of treatment. It is a good idea to keep mental or written notes of how you feel immediately after treatment, in the days following and of course your overall response to the treatment. This is important information to share with your practitioner, so that they can best design subsequent treatments.

How often and how long?

Initially, an interval of a week is recommended for the first two or three sessions. Most people see a marked improvement after the first session although deep seated problems might take longer. The time of recovery is down to the age, health of client, and length of condition, however, an estimate of number of sessions will be provided after a consultation.

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