WHAT IS TRADITIONAL ACUPUNCTURE?
Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years. It has a very positive model of good health and function, and looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. The overall aim of acupuncture treatment, then, is to restore the body's equilibrium. What makes this system so uniquely suited to modern life is that physical, emotional and mental are seen as interdependent, and reflect what many people perceive as the connection between the different aspects their lives.
Based on traditional belief, acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for centuries. The focus is on the individual, not their illness, and all the symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
Traditional 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 traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response.
Silene Bricet practices acupuncture in Kennington, South London. She has been an acupuncturist for 14 years. Her main area of interest is Women's Health.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR CONCEPTION
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is beneficial to help prepare your body for conception – for all aspects of assisted conception and for natural conception.
You may come to acupuncture because you would like to avoid assisted conception, or because you have heard it is a beneficial support during assisted conception, or because you have tried everything else and want to fully explore all the options that may help you to conceive.
Whatever the reason you are looking for support, if you are just at the outset of trying to conceive, if you have been trying for some time, if you are just embarking down the assisted pathway, or if you may have had multiple assisted experiences – acupuncture support may be an excellent way to help to bring you into better balance, wherever you may be in your fertility journey.
The aim is to help to bring you into a better state of health for conception and gestation, optimising you for pregnancy and parenthood. A calm emotional state is very important for healthy conception.
Trying to conceive may be fraught with many conflicting emotions ranging through hope, frustration, hope, anger, hope, guilt, hope, sadness, hope, grief… a veritable rollercoaster.
Balance is the key word. The constant emotional switching can be very disruptive to hormonal feedback loops. By allowing your body to relax during your treatment, you may aid the endocrine function to bring your hormones into better function.
The garden analogyThe garden analogy is often used when discussing fertility, which is absolutely appropriate, for germination depends on just the right balance of nutrients in the soil, a good balance of light and moisture, not too hot, not too cold… all the things we need for a good crop to grow.
And the quality of the seeds is just as important as the receptive nourishment of the soil. Healthy plants will grow from healthy seeds.
In Chinese medicine, we make our diagnosis in respect of the ‘climate’ and the internal condition. We call this the constitutional diagnosis. Our aim is to help clear stagnation and blockages, to supplement deficiencies, improving your nutritive uptake, and to balance the internal temperatures to create that nice incubatory climate to give the seeds a chance to germinate.