Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into acupoints as the means of influencing and directing therapeutic change.
Acupoints are specific locations along the course of meridians that run the length and breadth of the body.
Meridians can loosely be described as the energetic pathways through which a person’s Qi (pronounced Chi and loosely translates as Vital Energy) flows and they link the internal organs and physiology to the body surface.
As such, each acupoint has specific actions on the Qi passing through it and so offers an energetic portal through which a practitioner can access and influence a patient’s health.
There are 359 standard acupoints with numerous additional ones giving a total repertoire of almost 2,000 acupoints, all regarded as having very specific actions for which they will be chosen according to the diagnosis and treatment strategy. Used in concert together, a treatment will typically involve activation of approximately 4- 12+ acupoints with the hair-breadth needles left in place for 15-25 mins.
Acupuncture has received official recognition and endorsement for a range of healthcare conditions through the release of official reports by international health committees such as:
- The National Institute of Health (NIH) in 1997
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2002
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2012
Auriculotherapy and Group Acupuncture
Auriculotherapy is a variation of acupuncture using the ear alone as the site of treatment. The ear is regarded as being a map of the entire body in microcosm and has been developed as an efficient way of giving treatments to small groups or in circumstances not conducive to private clinic. In this way, small target groups can be assembled for treatment with needs in common such as:
- Chemotherapy support and cancer care
- Elderly and geriatric healthcare
- PTSD and trauma recovery
- Addiction treatment programmes
- Depression and anxiety
- Pregnancy care
Group acupuncture involves individuals sat in their own chair in a circle with others. Access to discreet areas of the body will be required and treatment will be confined to the ears, below the elbows and below the knees. Needles are retained for 15-25 mins and can be accompanied by a guided meditation, a session of mindfulness or quiet personal reflection depending on the needs of the group.
Please contact Freya if you are interested in group rates and to discuss the needs of the group concerned. Detailed private consultations are not possible in group acupuncture but tongue and pulse diagnosis together with a brief discussion of the key needs for each individual will be included.
Have photo of group acupuncture in session
This is another variation of acupuncture using the scalp of the head as the site of treatment. Scalp acupuncture is used extensively in China for neurological conditions and for post-stroke sequelae in particular. With research increasingly endorsing the effectiveness of Scalp Acupuncture for the treatment of these difficult conditions, it is gaining popularity in the West.
Freya has trained with Dr. Suzanne Robidoux who’s specialism in China is in the treatment of neurological conditions and psycho-emotional conditions with Scalp Acupuncture.
According to Chinese medical theory, some pathologies are driven by Internal Cold and Damp. Such diagnostic terms as Cold and Damp in Chinese Medicine are not literal but symbolic and are designed to capture and convey in a single word, a myriad of meaning among doctors and practitioners.
However, should a condition involve such pathological factors, moxibustion is required whereby acupoints are heated with moxa, made of a herb that burns with an intense heat to powerfully mobilise the Qi and infuse its medicinal qualities to correct pathological factors.
Moxatherapy methods include:
- Moxa stick: a rolled cigar sized stick of moxa that is held near the skin until the patient’s threshold of heat tolerance is reached.
- Needle moxa: a small ball of the herb attached to an acupuncture needle and allowed to burn so that the heat gently transfers down the needle into the acupoint
- Moxa cones: a small amount of the herb placed on the skin directly and allowed to burn until the patient’s threshold of heat is reached.
Conditions commonly treated with moxatherapy include:
- Breech presentation during pregnancy
- Menstrual issues such as period pain, irregular periods, ovulatory disorders, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility and recurrent miscarriage
- Painful conditions such as fibromyalgia and neuralgia
- Muscular tension and sports injuries
- Digestive disorders
- Low immune system
- Kidney related conditions
Acupressure uses massage, finger pressure or vaccaria-seed pressure pads to activate acupoints instead of needles.
This makes it a valuable treatment method for two key areas of need:
- As an alternative treatment for:
- Those who are needle sensitive
- Those needing to maintain additional self-treatment in between acupuncture treatments (such as morning sickness, labour preparation, breech presentation, induction and chemotherapy support)
- For the more subtle aspects of a person’s wellbeing such as:
- Issues of a more psycho-emotional nature
- During times of intense personal change or challenge
- When deeply held patterns of behaviour need exploring and changing