TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE
Medicine in the east has been developed very differently than in the west. It can be traced back more than 4000 years and is closely linked with nature and philosophy.
For example the 5 elements all relate to many things in life - the seasons, emotions, foods etc. You can see how the ancient doctors came to realise our innate connections with nature.
The 5 elements and their relationships
The energy of life - chi - is what determines our physical and mental health. Chinese medicine aims to harmonise the balance of energy and bring about good health.
Yin/Yang are the opposites of energy that represent harmony.
Among the conditions commonly treated are:
Back Pain and Sports Injuries
Headache and Migraine
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cfs)
A longer list is here, as all ailments are treated.
Please call/email for more information.
Diagnosis is done through the pulse and tongue. This can reveal much about your current and past health. The mark of a good acupuncturist is having the pulse taken. So-called ‘medical acupuncture’ typically done by GP’s or western doctors do not do this, and it is inferior to proper Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Way to Health
I use integrative methods combining diet and supplements (such as pro/pre-biotics) to strengthen the body when there is no illness, and harmonise energy to clear disease. Health in the west is suffering as little attention is paid to the body all the time we are healthy (though this is improving!). Chinese medicine emphasises disease prevention - this is why many Chinese will have regular treatments while they are healthy - to keep the body and immune system strong.
The most well-known aspect of Chinese medicine is stimulating specific points on the body.
There are over 400 acupuncture points where the body’s vital energy - Chi - meets and can be affected. When blockages or slow flow of this energy is cleared, then harmony is attained and health is improved.
The existence of these points has been scientifically proven as acupuncture points have a higher electrical resistance than other areas of the skin
There are 12 channels (plus 8 extra channels) called meridians along which the energy flows. They each relate to the internal organ they pass through.
How it Works
Acupuncture in a western sense works by stimulating the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients.
It clears blood stagnation which is a main factor in pain and normal function of the body.
It stimulates the nervous system, releasing natural painkilling hormones.
Treatment improves the health of the organs and therefore the whole body. It stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, without toxins and without side-effects.
What to Expect
The needles I use are extremely thin - like a human hair (1/4 mm) and are painless! They are nothing like what you may be used to in hospital. I use the best quality Chinese needles (Hwato) and are used once and thrown.
In clinic, I commonly use acupuncture for pain, injury, arthritic conditions and so on. It can show a quicker benefit than herbal medicine and can often be used with herbs. Many problems like insomnia and stress can be helped with ear needles.
Acupuncture in Pregnancy
There are a few points and moxibustion that work wonders in an overdue pregnancy (after the 40th week.). These are mostly on the feet and one by the thumb.
I have also helped many mothers where the baby is not in the correct position (breech birth) - even at a late stage where the midwife was adamant the baby could not turn round!
Cupping is a suction treatment on the body, similar to having an intense massage in a very localised area on the body.
Cups are placed on muscular areas and through vacuum, sucks the skin. Traditionally, bamboo cups were left on until bruising occurs. But I do something different - leaving glass cups on for a short time and repeating. This has the same effect but without leaving obvious bruise marks!
The treatment releases tension in the muscles, clears toxins in the blood and unblocks and increases the circulation of the blood. In TCM theory it clears stagnation of chi and invigorates associated organs.
Muscle tension in the shoulders through stress or long periods typing can be relieved. With our more sedentary lifestyle, these days, for example, sitting at the desk can cause lower leg problems like stabbing pains and sensitive muscles. Clearing the stagnation and promoting circulation of blood is helpful for these symptoms.
Similarly, it is excellent in sports recovery and aching muscles. I regularly treat Rugby players with cupping. Michael Phelps and the US & Russian swimming teams are big fans.
Cupping has long been used in the East and was also was developed in the West through very different philosophies but for similar purposes. Another use in the West was to clear symptoms of flu or a chest infection by placing cups on the back over the tips of the lungs.
Ear Seed Plasters
Ear acupuncture is a very useful tool for many common problems. It is a condensed version of body acupuncture, with over 100 points on the ear representing all parts of the body. Theoretically, every ailment can be treated with just the ear!
Commonly, I use about 5 different points on each ear for:
General pain relief
Headache / Migraine
Lose weight / Gain weight therapy
A few needles are left in place, then replaced with a tiny seed (or magnetised ball) and covered with tape so that the stimulation on that point continues.
Auriculotherapy requires specialised TCM training and I received this qualification from Beijing, China.
Moxibustion is a traditional heat treatment with some amazing abilities. Moxa is actually a leaf from the mugwort plant, prepared and dried. When burnt, the heat and more importantly the nature property of the herb treats ‘cold’ stagnation of blood and chi. This means it is great for arthritic conditions, stiffness, aches and pain, poor circulation and bruising.
I use 2 methods: pure moxa is rolled into a cone, burnt over an acupuncture point and removed when heat is felt. This is to clear stagnation of energy in that meridian, strengthening and stimulating the organ.
Another way is to use a moxa stick. This is like a large cigar packed with rolled moxa leaves. The stick is lit and held near the skin, warming the problem area.
Moxibustion is especially effective for breech birth in late pregnancy (up to 38 weeks). Combining with acupuncture I have successfully treated this many times, as well as when the baby is overdue - certain points will induce contractions.
(3) Electrical Resistance of Acupuncture Points - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838801/