How does it work?
According to Traditional Chinese medical philosophy our bodies are regulated by twelve main organs which have channels associated to each of them. The channels help to nourish our bodies and keep us alive and hopefully healthy. Within these channels flows Qi and Blood (TCM components are capitalized from now on), in proportional quantities, with Qi representing the propulsive force for Blood and Blood, the essential nourishment for our bodies. Without Qi, Blood cannot move through the channels and without Blood there is not enough nourishment for our bodies.
At the end of each channel the Qi and Blood moves to the next channel, creating a loop/circuit within our bodies, unbroken and dependant on each link for a smooth flow. If the any disturbance in the flow of Qi or Blood then there will be detrimental affects on the organs associated with the channel in question. Treating the disharmonies in the flow of qi will resolve the symptoms or patterns the patient is suffering from by re-establishing balance in their system.
From a Western medical perspective the “Gate Control” theory, put forward by Ron Melzack and Patrick Wall in 1962, suggests that pain impulses are either blocked or allowed to continue onto the brain at various neurological “gates” along the spinal cord. Since a large portion of acupuncture points are either located close to, or connected to neural structures, this would suggest that acupuncture treatments on these particular points serve to stimulate the nervous system into”shutting these gates” to the sensation of pain.
Other theories advocate that acupuncture encourages the body to produce narcotic-like substances such as endorphins and opiates which will, when released into our blood, relieve pain. Although it is not known exactly how acupuncture works, studies have shown that it can work for a large majority of people and conditions.
Do I need to believe in it for treatments to be successful?
While maintaining a positive frame of mind is always good for any type of treatment, conventional or otherwise, it’s not necessary to “believe” for acupuncture to work. This has been shown not only through clinical study with patients cynical of acupunctures capabilities, but by the fact that veterinary and paediatric acupuncture is carried out on subjects who cannot be instructed to “believe”.
How safe is acupuncture?
This is probably the most important question that one must ask themselves before receiving any treatment. The answer relies on the skill, training and experience of the practitioner. At D2 Acupuncture, all treatments are administered by a licensed, trained and fully-insured acupuncturist, in situations like this acupuncture is extremely safe and there is no danger whatsoever.
Who should perform acupuncture?
Sadly, the practice of acupuncture is not currently regulated in Ireland and anyone may call themselves an acupuncturist. There are changes coming however as the Department of Health & Children has established a Consultative Forum with a number of Associations representing Acupuncture/ Traditional Chinese Medicine and other practitioners of Complementary Medicine with a plan to establish a framework for regulation. I fully support this initiative and believe that acupuncture should only be performed by a licensed, certified practitioner. To attain a license, I graduated from a three-year accredited course, which included extensive clinical training (my training included a trip to Nanjing, China and a month working in the hospitals there to accumulate the practical knowledge required to work in a functioning traditional Chinese medical hospital environment). To attain certification, I needed to pass a national examination. Practitioners who follow their name with the abbreviation Lic. Ac. are Licensed Acupuncturists and have attained at least that minimum standard of training.
Does acupuncture hurt?
As acupuncture needles are extremely fine (as thin as 1/6th of a millimetre) and flexible, most people do not experience discomfort when they are inserted. When the needle has connected with the Qi, a sensation may be felt such as a tingling, heaviness or a slight flow of energy. The most common experience during treatment is a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. Click here –> find out what you can expect from a treatment with D2 Acupuncture
What is Qi ?
Qi is a Chinese term for vital energy or life force, the propulsive force that animates all living things.
It pushes Blood throughout the body in pathways known as meridians/channels which are akin to an irrigation network nourishing the body and mind.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the smooth flow of qi is believed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance. It can be easily influenced by disruptions in the balance of levels of yin and yang. An imbalance between yin and yang will result in disharmony in the flow of qi through these meridians.
What are meridians?
Meridian (also referred to as channels) is a traditional Chinese medical term for each of the 20 pathways throughout the body which the qi travels through, maintaining equilibrium. These are similar to an irrigation system, bringing nourishment (Blood) and energy (Qi) throughout the body. If there is a blockage along one of these pathways then this will result in disharmony and most likely pain.
How many treatments will I need?
Every case encountered in our clinic is unique in its own way. The number of treatments you may require will vary depending on the duration and severity of the condition. A free consultation with our experienced practitioner will offer you the best insight as to the number of treatments you will require. Usually, the maximum benefit is achieved after approximately six weekly treatments.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists approximately fifty different conditions that can be treated by acupuncture. The most common uses for acupuncture in the West include: Pain Management, Asthma, Drug Abuse, Alcoholism, Smoking, Stroke, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Gynaecological and Obstetric Problems, and Sexual Problems.