Classical acupuncture – What is it?
Classical acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles that are more than two thousand years old. It follows a positive model of good health and function, regarding pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. Classical acupuncture aims to restore the body’s equilibrium. The classical Chinese approach regards the physical, emotional and mental areas of your life as interdependent. Interestingly, this view reflects modern life where connections between different aspects of their lives are often seen.
Classical acupuncturists are trained to use subtle traditional diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined over centuries. They focus on the individual person and not their illness, viewing all symptoms in relation to each other. Since each patient is unique, two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
Classical acupuncturists believe that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body’s qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a classical acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body’s natural healing response.
A Brief History
Until the 1940s, when the Chinese government commissioned the development of a uniform system of diagnosis and treatment, somewhat misleadingly referred to as TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Prior to this, nearly all training had been apprentice-style with masters and within families. This traditional system of teaching remained when the practice of classical acupuncture travelled overseas into Japan and South East Asia.
Consequently, there are many different styles of acupuncture that share a common root but are distinct and different in their emphasis. You may read of ‘TCM’, ‘Five Elements, ‘ Stems and Branches’, Japanese Meridian Therapy, and many others. All of these approaches have their passionate devotees. The British Acupuncture Council, has long embraced this plurality under the heading ‘unity in diversity’ and sees the variety of approaches as the mark of a healthy profession.
Classical acupuncture has adapted to new cultures in which it is practised over many years now. Its growing popularity and acceptance in the West may well promote yet more new and exciting variations on the ancient themes.
Ann, our Acupuncturist, treating Toyah Willcox
What can acupuncture treat?
A growing body of evidence-based clinical research shows that acupuncture safely treats a wide range of common health problems.