Acupuncture is a system of healthcare that has been around for thousands of years in China and throughout the East, which is widely believed to be 2,500 years old; but it has traces reaching back as far as 8,000 years. It is a natural complement to other forms of medicine and a powerful medicine in its own right.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles (a fifth of a millimetre thick) being inserted into specific pressure points around the body in order to restore balance within the patient (homeostasis). The greater the state of balance, the better the body can heal itself to its full efficiency and immunity.
Your case is assessed by analysing your health and history, diet and lifestyle. In Chinese medical theory, for balance and well-being, there should be a free flow of blood and qi or chi (pronounced “chee” and meaning breath, energy, vitality) throughout all parts of the body. Health is impaired when blockages and weaknesses develop. Acupuncture works by restoring this free flow, clearing blockages and strengthening weaknesses.
These two techniques, properly prescribed, lead to appropriate flexibility within the body, mind and emotions, so that you can live life naturally and effortlessly, free of pain and with emotional balance.
To stimulate and nourish the Blood, dietary and fitness advice may be offered, as well as moxibustion and cupping therapy;
To stimulate and nourish your qi, the best techniques are acupuncture and qigong (much like yoga). The practice of qigong or chi kung (like yoga) is another brilliant way to strengthen and regulate your body – a breath, movement and mindfulness exercise that is gentle, requires no equipment and can be practised in as little as 10 minutes a day.
In this way, acupuncture can positively affect your well-being, helping you to balance your body and your lifestyle, and to have greater control over achieving your goals.
George trained in a style that integrates classically-based Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture with western medicine-influenced TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Acupuncture, which provides a treatment style that proves very effective at helping you achieve an enormous sense of well-being.
Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture
This style of acupuncture treats the individual rather than the symptom. It honours the ancient classical texts of Chinese Medicine, and focuses on treating the primary, fundamental imbalances at a constitutional level.
In many ancient cultures there is the philosophy that the world and ourselves are made up of five key elements – or actually that there are five phases of energy or movements within us – and treatment is based at this primary level. This means that by providing balance to the whole person, many imbalances are resolved together.
Great emphasis is placed on emotional stability and the strength of the patient’s motivations. By treating the whole Being rather than merely the immediate problem, the body’s ability to look after itself is often greatly improved, leaving your body in a condition whereby it can self-regulate effectively.
This style of acupuncture is particularly good for preventative treatment to avoid future ailments – seasonal treatments to help you keep fit as a fiddle and on top of your game. It is also the basis for George’s approach to helping patient’s move through the next transition of life – using acupuncture to move more towards your heartfelt goals.
The Five Elements are phases of energy transition, and can be likened to western science’s energetic phases of kinetic energy (Wood), thermal (Fire), internal (Earth), condensation (Metal) and magnetism/gravity (Water). All of these forces are active in the body, and when they are properly regulated the body heals itself as soon as imbalance begins.
This is the most widely-taught style of acupuncture today, developed during the People’s Revolution in China to incorporate conventional western scientific approach to medicine, and is much more focussed on specific symptoms. This is especially useful for more acute conditions – for example, musculoskeletal injuries, stiffness and pain, fertility and gynaecological conditions.
Many people often equate the practice of acupuncture with the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is not entirely true. While acupuncture is the most often practised component of traditional Chinese medicine, it is simply that – a component, an important piece of a much larger puzzle. Traditional Chinese Medicine encompasses several methods designed to help patients achieve and maintain health. Along with acupuncture, TCM incorporates adjunctive techniques such as acupressure and moxibustion; manipulative and massage techniques such as tuina and gua sha, and electr0-acupuncture; as well as herbal medicine. George does not practise herbal medicine currently, focusing instead on dietary medicine.
Both styles rely on the understanding of your signs and symptoms to accurately provide suitable treatment. Your symptoms you describe in your own words, your signs are noticed by your acupuncturist:
Pulse reading is a fundamental diagnostic tool in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. For George it is the key method for of diagnosis.
Chinese medicine uses mainly the radial pulse (at the wrist) to diagnose the health of your internal organs. There are twelve major organs, six being felt at each wrist. Pulse reading requires analysis of width, pressure, strength, rate, depth and quality of the pulse beat.
From this an acupuncturist can build up an in-depth picture of the internal condition of the body. All the rhythms of the body can be felt in the pulse.
Pulse reading is also a brilliant way of getting in touch with what is actually going on internally; for when people describe what their symptoms are, if asked the same question twice, we very often answer completely differently. This is due to language’s linear structure, meaning we tend to think of one cause and one effect, when in fact the reality is far more complex. Pulse reading negates this problem, giving the acupuncturist an accurate map of a patient’s internal make-up.
Other forms of diagnosis George may employ are face reading, tongue reading, channel (meridian) palpation, palm and nail reading, posture and gait, breath.
There is nowadays plenty of research into the effectiveness for acupuncture, which you can browse at your convenience.