Acupuncture has began to feature more prominently in mainstream healthcare in the UK, with the house of lords recommendations of its use in the NHS and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) endorsement, it is becoming a valuable adjunct to western medicine.
Although there is a large amount of research into the uses of acupuncture, there is little data conforming to the western standard of double blind randomized control trials on humans. As a result its efficacy must still be considered to be largely unproven when meeting these standards. References to research mentioned on this website need therefore to be seen in this context.
Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other eastern countries for thousands of years. It is a system of medicine used to help people with a wide range of problems, focusing on treating the person rather then the disease.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, all good health is dependent on the smooth flow of a vital energy known as ‘Qi’ which is distributed through energy pathways known as meridians throughout the body. When these meridians become blocked or unbalanced illness occurs. By inserting fine needles into specific points on these pathways of vital energy, acupuncturists can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help to restore natural balance.
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.