Acupuncture involves a single-use, pre-sterilized, disposable needles of various widths, lengths, and materials that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points. Many needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in a certain position for a certain amount of time, depending on the desired effect.
We use mainly two types of acupuncture – Western Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCM).
Acupuncture works through 3 Mechanisms: Local, Segmental and Central. Each of them can contribute to the resolution of the pathology.
Central effect: FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Studies have demonstrated acupuncture effect on the pain pathways of the brain which may play a role in reducing central sensitization. Also, acupuncture seems to trigger a sequence of events involving the release of endogenous opioid-like substances that are related to the acupuncture-induced analgesia.
Segmental effect: needling some points may have a segmental effect, therefore the stimulation of distal points may induce a strong segmental inhibitory effect that suppresses the pain signal.
Local effect: it is the one caused by the insertion of the needle. Through a mechanical/chemical/vascular/neural effect increases the blood circulation, induces muscle release and reduces pain, swelling and inflammation in the local tissue.
As shown in several studies, acupuncture modulates the activities of the ANS (Autonomic Nervous System). New studies are showing the relationship between ANS dysregulation and several conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Sleep Disorders, Arthritis, etc.
To learn more about symptoms related to ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) dysregulation, follow the link: https://www.5starclinicltd.com/autonomic-nervous-system/
It is another clinical reason for the use of needles. In this case, the needles are usually inserted and manipulated in particular areas called TRIGGER POINTS to release the taut-band in the muscle. This treatment improves muscle strength, in the range of movement and the pain condition.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture
It is a part of the oldest system of medicine. It is based on a completely different diagnostic method and reasoning. Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance and flow of the Vital energy called “Qi”. Qi is the energy of the body, of the meridians, of food and of the universe.
Within the body there are two basic types of Qi: Congenital Qi and Acquired Qi.
Congenital Qi is the Qi that we are born with. Acquired Qi is derived from the quality of our lifestyle habits such as:
- food quality;
- physical exercise
- the air that we breathe;
- the balance of emotions.
Qi is said to flow through 12 main meridians, or pathways, in the human body. These meridians and energy flows are accessible through 350 main acupuncture points in the body.
Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang are terms used to describe relative opposite qualities or manifestations of Qi. Everything that is Yin contains some elements of Yang, and everything that is Yang contains some elements of Yin.
Yin refers to aspects or manifestations of Qi that are relative: material, solid, heavy, pale, soft, descending, cold, moist, cooling, dark, passive, quiescent, lethargic, underactive.
Yang refers to aspects or manifestations of Qi that are relative: immaterial, expanding, hollow, light, ascending, hot, dry, warming, bright, aggressive, and active.
When there is an imbalance between Yin and Yang aspects of the Qi, the pathology onset, the aim of the acupuncture, in this case, is to re-establish a balance and a correct flow in this energy to resolve the pathology.
The diagnostic process in TCM
Looking – examination through observation. The clinician observes features of the body, movements, and mannerisms and likely a tongue examination will be carried.
Listening – the sound of someone’s voice provides a window into their health. Practitioners generally classify the voice into these five types: Shout, Laugh, Sing, Weep, Groan.
Touching – part of the examination. The practitioner looks for areas that are: tender or painful; hot or cold; swollen; sweaty; discoloured. Also, as part of the examination can be carried out a Pulse examination.
Asking – the clinician asks several questions regarding sleep, appetite, characteristics of the pain, emotions, etc. They will help to have a more defined picture of the patient’s complaint.
Acupuncture at 5 STAR CLINIC
What type of acupuncture will you receive?
At 5 STAR CLINIC, we know both Western and TCM acupuncture.
The knowledge in Western acupuncture have been acquired through the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) which is a professional network affiliated with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
The knowledge in TCM acupuncture has been gained through the study of Method Solére which is a “ Membre du Conseil Supérieur National de L’Acupuncture Traditionelle “.
There is no best modality of treatment. Both methods can be powerful when wisely applied. Each of them has the proper indications. At 5 STAR CLINIC, we choose the best way of treatment, depending on the patient’s complaint and their needs.