According to ancient Chinese thought, everything in the world is based on energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”). The life energy in human beings flows through the body in channels called meridians which lie under the skin. When that flow of energy is slowed or blocked, the body becomes ill. Acupuncturists try to locate the blockage of energy and clear it by stimulating certain points on the body so that the Qi can once more flow correctly around the body.
Another reason for illness is an imbalance of our “yin” and “yang” energy. Yin and yang are complete opposites, similar to the ideas of light and dark or full and empty. An excess of yang, for example, can result in headaches, high blood pressure or acute pain. As with any balance, it is easy to affect the yin/yang level in our bodies. Stress and bad diet are examples of what can cause the imbalance. Acupuncture attempts to bring the yin and yang in our bodies back into balance, thus restoring the body’s natural harmony so it can begin to heal itself.
Things to check when searching for an Acupuncturist:
Look for a practitioner who has:
- Recognized qualifications. Acupuncturists should have completed at least a two-year full-time training course.
- Membership of a recognised and respected UK acupuncture organisation such as the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). There are strict entry requirements and all members must follow a code of ethics, practise and professional conduct.
- Understanding of Western medical science. This enables the practitioner to recognise those conditions which are best dealt with by, or in conjunction with, a doctor.
- Professional indemnity insurance.
- Registered with the local Environmental Health Office.