What is acupuncture?

The ancient Chinese theorized that the body had an energy force running throughout it. This energy force is known as 'Qi' (Chee), it consists of all essential life activities. A person's health is influenced by the flow of Qi in the body therefore if the flow of Qi is insufficient, unbalanced or interrupted, the body's energies become unbalanced and illness can occur. Qi travels throughout the body along 'meridians' (or channels). Acupuncture points are specific points on the body where the meridians come to the surface of the skin where they are easily accessible by needling, moxibustion, and acupressure.

Energy constantly flows up and down these pathways (meridians). When pathways become obstructed, or what is described as deficient or excessive, Qi can become unbalanced and in some cases is unable to flow. This is what causes illness. Acupuncture is said to restore the balance. Sometimes these imbalances can be explained by past injuries or stresses to particular parts of the body. At other times problems can be attributed more to experiences that have affected a person emotionally - reasons for illness and the symptoms seen are many and varied.

Acupuncture treatment involves the stimulation of specific points on the meridians. Doing so has the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological actions in order to achieve the desired healing effect.

The classical Eastern explanation for how acupuncture works is that the meridians of Qi are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up, creating imbalance, pain and/ or other symptoms, such as skin disease.

Acupuncture is becoming one of the most thoroughly researched and documented alternative medical practices. Currently there is an increasing amount of controlled studies that  show evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis, chemotherapy-induced nausea, asthma, back pain, painful menstrual cycles, bladder instability, and migraine headaches. Studies on acupuncture also have shown positive results in the areas of chronic pain management and in the management of drug addition, two areas where conventional Western medicine is very limited.

What is the difference between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Five Element Acupuncture?

TCM was developed in China during the first half of the 20th Century (after the Cultural Revolution), with the approval of the Chinese Government. TCM is very good for conditions of a more physical nature (under communism the spiritual aspects of Chinese medicine were not emphasized). Its strength is in the treatment of acute conditions ranging from the common cold and flu to recovery from injuries such as back sprains and sports injuries along side other debilitating diseases. These complaints are commonly treated in China in out-patient clinics.

Five Element style has its roots in Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, and more ancient Chinese theory. It has been developed in the West since the 1960s so is very appropriate for the treatment of patients in this part of the world today. Five Element theory describes the energy of the world as occurring in five phases or Elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. This theory is used in many contexts, but in medicine it is the basis for determining constitutional types. Five Element treatment is appropriate for chronic / constitutional problems.

How does it work?

Stimulating the acupuncture points influences the meridians. The acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the 'dams', and re-establish the regular flow through the meridians. A more scientific explanation of acupuncture is that the stimulation of certain trigger points on the body by acupuncture needles prompts the body to release certain hormones and chemicals that can reduce pain, regulate the endocrine system, and calm the nervous system.

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves which transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain. The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.

The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture. Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.

What benefits can I expect?

A typical result of treatment is that patients feel better in themselves: abilities, talents or areas of life thet the person has put to one side become activated. People shed limitations and begin to function to their full potential; whether in their personal lives, relationships, families or work. Also relief from conditions that are listed below.

What conditions are treatable with acupuncture?

Acupuncture can treat people who have no labelled complaint, but who nevertheless, feel ‘not right’ as evidenced by physical, mental or spiritual distress. The Chinese medical diagnosis goes to the root cause of the problem and does not focus exclusively on individual symptoms or physical symptoms at the expense of mental or spiritual distress.

Acupuncture is used to treat such conditions as: addiction (various types), asthma, circulatory disorders - such as abnormal blood pressure, depression, digestive disorders, skin problems, fatigue, healing of injuries, infertility, impotence, joint and muscle disorders, menstrual problems, pain relief and stress. This is not an all inclusive list, if you have something specific you would like to ask about, please contact me.

A list of diseases that have been judged to be treatable by the World Health Organization


Augusta (Gus) Sevier LicAc MBAcC BSc (Hons)
Treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine &
Five Elements Acupuncture in the Manchester area 

Make a Free Website with Yola.