Many people come for treatment complaining of specific conditions or symptoms. Others wish to strengthen their constitution or balance their energies to maintain good health, or sometimes because they feel unwell without being “ill” in the western sense. In the East it is said that that in ancient times people only paid their doctors when they were well and that trying to treat someone when they are ill is like trying to repair a riverbank after it has been breached…so the value of preventative treatment should not be under-estimated!
The benefits of treatment often include more than just relief from a particular condition. Because the whole person is being treated, patients often comment on an improved sense of well being with better energy levels, sleep and appetite.
In acupuncture pain is often interpreted as a blockage in the energy pathways. The needles help to move and balance energy so relieving pain for a wide variety of conditions. An analogy from nature would be moving a log jam in a river. Once the jam is cleared everything starts moving again. Acupuncture can help by affecting the structure of the body (like osteopathy or chiropractic). This why it is good for back and other musculo-skeletal pain (i.e. pain related to bones and muscles). Acupuncture is also used for chronic pain and trauma where for some reason the body retains the memory of pain. This pattern can be unlocked by certain techniques unique to the style of Japanese acupuncture that I practise.
General health & maintenance
Acupuncture and oriental medicine in general is underpinned by an understanding of what good health really is, from diet and exercise to breathing relaxation. This also empowers the patient. Acupuncture itself, by balancing the body’s energies, can help the patient to stay fit and healthy, and many patients come for just this reason, and to sort out any niggles that inevitably crop up with age.
Stress & headaches
An acupuncture treatment should be a relaxing experience and many patients come to experience the deep relaxation that happens with treatment (and also fall asleep with the needles in!) With improved energy and well-being patients find that it is easier to cope with stress and some come for this purpose alone. Headaches and migraines, while linked to how a person handles stress, often have complicated causes. This style of Japanese acupuncture has several tools which help unwind the structural and energetic blocks which can cause chronic headaches.
“On my first visit to James I was suffering from chronic backache. After a few sessions the pain diminished and then went away, and hasn’t returned. I would unreservedly recommend him, he is very good at what he does.”
— JFB, SW4