Background to Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the paramount treatments in the quet or pain relief without drugs.
As most people know acupuncture was initiated by the Chinese some 4,000 years ago.

Briefly, the Chinese believed that the energy or life force of a human being had to circulate freely around the around the body but if it was impeded than an ailment would result.

Any impediment in the circulation could be shifted by inserting needles into definite points of the body known as acupuncture points, and moving or rotating the needles. Flow was resumed and the result was that certain disorders were cured and the pain relieved.

The success of acupuncture therefore depended on the skill of the practitioner in finding the points and knowing how much stimualtion was required.

Acupressure preceded acupuncture as a way of natural healing and has been practised in China for at least 5,000 years. Finger pressure is used instead of needles to stimulate pressure points and encourage the bidy to heal. Acupuncture was developed from the knowledge gained, through the practice of acupressure, about the energy pathways and pressure points.

The Acupoint is a further development in natural healing which uses the theory behind acupuncture/acupressure. Rather than using needles or just finger pressure to stimulate the acupuncture points the Acupoint uses mild electrical impulses, applied to the skin, to access the body's healing energy.


How does Acupuncture work?

The two main theories on how Acupuncture or Acupressure actually works are:

1. The Gate Control Theory

This theory was produced by Melzach and Wall who stated that messages carrying information about the injury travel towards the brain along two separate sets of nerve fibres. The larger fibres carry messages about sensations other than pain, whilst the smaller fibres carry the pain messages. The messages which travel along the larger fibres tend to arrive at the spinal cord before the messages travelling along the smaller fibres. So if there are enough non-painful sensations travelling, the pain messages will not be able to get through. This is the same theory as that of the underlying pain relief treatment found with TeNS.

2. The Neuro-Endocrine Theory

It has been found that by utilising acupuncture or acupressure points, the body can be stimulated to produce its own natural pain control mechanisms - endorphins.

Acupressure works on the same principles as Acupuncture but pressure from the hands and fingers replace the needle stimulation. Electro-acupuncture works by passing a small electrical current across acupuncture points.