Traditional Chinese medical acupuncture is an ancient and fascinating medical practice originating from China. In every part of the world for thousands of years, humans have speculated about some kind of life force. In China it is called qi (also spelled chi), in India prana, in ancient Greece pneuma, in Latin spiritus, and in Hebrew ruach. This life force, bio-energy or Qi, moves throughout the body flowing through clearly defined channels known as meridians, promoting health and resisting disease. Acupuncture seeks to restore wellness by identifying and correcting imbalances in the flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. This may for example mean: reducing pain by releasing muscle spasms, reducing swelling and inflammation, and increasing circulation in a local area; or reducing feelings of stress by rebalancing the autonomic nervous system; or rebalancing the functions of the digestive system.
An increasing weight of evidence from western scientific research is also demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating a wide variety of conditions. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the nervous system, influencing the production of the body's communication substances - hormones and neurotransmitters, raising the levels of specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood cells, gamma globulins and antibodies generally. Acupuncture also stimulates our 'feel good' chemicals – endorphins. The resulting biochemical changes activate the body's self-regulating homeostatic systems, stimulating its natural healing abilities and promoting physical and emotional well-being.
Practitioners of Chinese medical acupuncture also learn western anatomy and physiology. In textbooks, each point location is described in precise anatomical terms. Our practitioner uses a synergy of eastern and western knowledge and skills to help you. She will work with you to understand all of your symptoms of health disharmony. This information is used to form a diagnosis and plan treatments. The acupuncture point combinations chosen are based upon many centuries of well documented clinical use and refinement and also Helen's own experience in the practice of acupuncture, and are adjusted as your treatments progress if appropriate.
Our practitioner sometimes also stimulates particular needles using a new generation of needle stimulators which use safe, proven programs and electrical parameters. Electro-acupuncture is a safe method of providing sustained gentle needle stimulation throughout the course of the treatment.
Shiatsu is a Japanese form of physical therapy blending acupressure with energy work. It is used throughout the world and incorporates influences and teachings from both western and eastern medicine. Practitioners spend 3+ years developing the touch, sensitivity and receptivity that is unique to Shiatsu. The patient remains fully clothed for a shiatsu treatment. Our practitioner uses a variety of diagnostic techniques to assess the mind and body and identifies areas that require attention. Treatments may involve a combination of appropriate levels of perpendicular pressure and Qi projection on specific points, with stretching and rotations to relax tension and to stimulate weaker areas. As a therapy, it stimulates wellness and self-regulating functions in the body.
Our practitioner has often been able to facilitate positive transformation where other approaches have been unsuccessful. It is usually a very relaxing experience. Many patients report that following a course of treatments they feel significantly more relaxed, sleep better, feel less tense and feel more at ease in themselves.
Cupping therapy involves the placing of either glass or plastic cups onto the skin. Suction is then created using an inspirator. Cupping helps to clear the local build-up of waste products and toxins by bringing them to the surface from deeper within the layers or fat, muscle and fascia, and creates a temporary circular bruise-like appearance. The treatment is not painful however, and many people quite like the unusual feeling of it. The marks indicate stagnation that has been transported from deeper tissue layers up to the surface. This allows fresh blood to enter, nourish and heal the underlying areas. For this reason it is increasingly used by professional athletes such as swimmers to aid recovery after training and competitions. The colour of bruise produced depends on the level and type of stagnation, deficiency or injury in the area. The intensity of bruising gradually decreases with subsequent treatments as the tissues are cleared and toxins systemically removed and the blood supply refreshed.
Cupping is also used by people who have chronic back pain, arthritis, musculoskeletal fatigue, asthma, poor circulation and stagnation.