17 October 2007

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient medicine originating from China many thousands of years ago. The basic premise is that humans are dependant on energy to live and be healthy.


Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that originated in China thousands of years ago. The basic premise behind the medicine is that humans are dependant on energy to live and be healthy. Acupuncture therefore uses the body’s energy to heal.

In the East this energy of the body is called 'Qi' (pronounced 'chi') and is said to 'flow' through our bodies, giving us life. When “Qi” flows well we are healthy and strong, but if the flow of 'Qi' is impaired we can become tired and ill.

We can probably best understand this by thinking how difficult it is to think and function well when we are tired or exhausted or when we say we have ‘no energy’. It is at these times we get upset, run down or ill.

On the other hand, when we are full of energy life seems easier, we do not get so run down and can throw off or escape that ‘flu or whatever illness is doing the rounds.

Acupuncture works by improving the body’s energy. It can help the body have more energy (many people comment that they feel really energetic after their treatment). It can also help the energy of the body flow better.

When the energy of the body does not flow well, we may experience problems such as migraine and pain. Acupuncture releases beta-endorphins in the brain, which helps to control pain. The effective treatment of pain using acupuncture is well documented.

[This article was written by Dr Debbie Smith (M:Tech:Hom). Dr Smith is a qualified acupuncturist and homeopath, specialising in iris diagnosis using high-definition photography. For more information on acupuncture, contact her on (011) 463 8564 or e-mail her:]


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