The first in our series of guest contributors is Jane Marsh of Core Acupuncture, who explains what exactly traditional acupuncture is and how, like reflexology, it can offer a holistic approach to improving health and well-being.

‘Acupuncture is a form of healthcare based of Chinese Medicine dating back as far as 600 BC. It was based on ideas of the time about man’s relationship with the spirits, heaven and earth, the passing of the seasons and the environment they lived in. Theories have developed and been refined over time of course but it remains true that practitioners of Chinese Medicine still look at ‘the bigger picture’ in order to understand health and well-being. There are many different styles which have all been the subject to increased research in modern times both in East Asia and the Western World. We are now at a point where all but the most skeptical of doctors agree that acupuncture has a lot to offer and it is now used in conjunction with Western Medicine in many clinical settings.

Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into acupuncture points. These points are selected after a consultation where the patient’s medical history is discussed as well as their lifestyle and current concerns or symptoms. Chinese Medicine views the way the body works in a very different way to Western Medicine. The different functions of the body are divided into a number of different systems. These systems are linked together and influence each other, each system also relates to a different sense and emotion. In this way there is a much stronger connection between physical health and mental health than in Western Medicine. It also makes it much easier to treat physical and emotional symptoms at the same time, after all we all know that the two are interdependent and very difficult to separate completely in real life.

Acupuncture can be used to treat specific conditions as well as to maintain general health. The list of conditions which have been studied in relation to acupuncture is almost endless. Conditions which Western Medicine struggles with or patients who have not responded to treatment offered by their doctor often respond well to Chinese Medicine. The focus of acupuncture is to re-balance the systems to enable them to work with and support one another. This makes it a great option for people who ‘just feel out of sorts’. These people often struggle with insomnia, headaches, poor digestion, emotional stability and energy to name just a few symptoms. Although these symptoms may not be obviously linked from a Western point of view, Chinese Medicine would look for the underlying system imbalance and acupuncture would treat the patient as a whole.

Acupuncture has a safety great record and other than the occasional painless bruise there are no side effects making it an ideal treatment for people who are wanting to avoid medication. People with chronic conditions which need to be managed for a long time (or possibly life), pregnant women and those trying to conceive could all benefit from acupuncture as a way to look after themselves, reduce stress and improve their overall health.’

Author: Jane Marsh

I first met Jane in early 2019 for treatment at Hull and East Riding Community Acupuncture and her private practice Core Acupuncture. For me, my weekly treatments helped to improve my migraines and balance my hormones. Back in 2017 acupuncture was also a last resort for me with an injured shoulder – no medical solutions came close to helping, but acupuncture did. I’ve found the practice to be very effective in dealing with pain and I’d recommend Jane to anyone looking for a practitioner.