In the quest for health and well-being, people have long turned to a slew of tried-and-tested remedies to soothe their mental and physical woes, from Western and Eastern medicine to yoga and meditation. Among the most well-respected, Eastern-based, mind-body practices is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture. For more than 2,500 years, this holistic treatment has been known to effectively address health concerns and promote wellness.
Acupuncture provides a way to stimulate certain points in the body that will help improve your body's healing ability and restore the balance of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Acupuncture is a holistic therapy that not only treats the symptoms but aims to treat the person as a whole by addressing the underlying imbalance and root causes of symptoms.
You might not necessarily have specific health conditions, yet acupuncture can be beneficial for you as a preventive or therapeutic treatment to improve your overall wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are over 40 different conditions and symptoms that are treated effectively by acupuncture, including neck, shoulder and lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer related fatigue and pain, migraine, menstrual pain, asthma, obesity and anxiety. Based on scientific evidence, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also recommends acupuncture as a treatment for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension headaches and migraines.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have also been used for thousands of years to help women conceive. In the last couple of decades modern science has confirmed their effectiveness in clinical trials. Scientists at Homerton University Hospital found IVF success rates were twice as high among those having acupuncture. Physician-scientists at the Center for Reproductive Medicine at New York Weill Cornell Medicine also found acupuncture has numerous potential fertility-boosting benefits.
Beyond the needles
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which a dried plant (mugwort) is burned on or near the surface of the skin. It warms and invigorates the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences. It may be used for instance to address arthritis or cold patterns.
Guasha is a therapy that involves scraping the skin with a massage tool to improve blood circulation. Organic oil is first applied to the skin; then a smooth-edged instrument is used to stroke the skin, typically in the area of pain. This stroking motion creates raised redness which usually fades within 2-4 days.
Cupping involves applying glass or silicone cups on the skin (generally on the back). Their suction loosen the connective tissues, which increases blood and lymph flow to the skin and brings oxygen rich blood and lymph to the affected area. Cupping helps your body by flushing built-up toxins through the lymphatic system.