NOT ALL ACUPUNCTURE IS THE SAME
People often say they’ve tried acupuncture and it didn’t work. But it turns out what they had done was ‘dry needling’ generally by their physio, which is very, very different from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Acupuncture and what I practice.
The biggest difference is that physios and other practitioners using dry needling can practice this form of acupuncture with limited training. Often just a few short courses vs a traditionally trained and qualified Acupuncturist who studies for four-years to degree level.
Dry needling is Western-medicine focussed, has a different aim, and mainly uses myofascial trigger points (you know, those ouchy points) to stimulate the nervous system to relieve pain and muscle spasms. Sometimes they use a small electrical impulse with the needle as well. While this can work for the right condition such as tennis elbow or general pain release, often the underlying factors are not addressed and then the condition can come back.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture looks deeper into the sign and symptoms our body displays. Headaches are just a warning of your body telling you something is not right. Now we can use a dry needling approach and resolve the headaches, but, unless you address the cause of the headaches and resolve it, the headache will come back.
TCM is based on balancing the body. If things are in balance then there should be no pain and the body should function without any problems.
TCM has been practised for over 3000 years and the scholars of old have used descriptive language to explain the internal workings according to their observations. they belief that health is dependent on your energy or Qi being balanced (exchange Qi for immune system, blood, lymphatic system… )Rather than just focus on one issue, complaint or injury and using a band aid approach, Traditional Acupuncture looks at your system as a whole. The overarching principle is that when Qi (blood, lymphatics, hormones out of balance) can’t flow freely, pain and illness occur. This can happen for many reasons, including infection, injury, sickness, emotional or physical stress, poor nutrition, etc. The aim is to rebalance your body using ultra-fine sterile needles (they are seriously tiny – about the width of a human hair) into specific acupuncture points. This helps trigger your body’s natural healing process and restore your physical and emotional balance.