Acupuncture works to help maintain your body's equilibrium. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of 'qi', your body's vital energy.
For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons, qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in some symptoms of pain and illness. In certain instances, traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.
Treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feeling of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve as your main health complaint improves.
Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages including babies and children. It can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.
In 2009 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended that acupuncture should be made available on the NHS, as a cost-effective short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent non-specific lower back pain. In 2012, NICE further recommended acupuncture as an effective way of avoiding tension type headaches and migraine and in 2013 the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) recommended acupuncture as an effective treatment for chronic pain.
Acupuncture originated in China and other far eastern cultures where it still features in mainstream healthcare, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional western medicine. Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world. In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them. Members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) practise acupuncture based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,000 years.