The ancient Chinese physicians did not view the body as something absolutely solid – a frozen, unchanging sculpture – or as a machine. Rather they saw it as an expression of a deep vitality that is in constant ebb and flow within itself as well as in exchange with its environment. This vitality can become unbalanced – either through emotional strain and modern stresses or through a myriad of environmental factors.
The human body, they said, is much more like a garden than a machine. As any gardener knows, you can get away with occasionally not weeding or feeding or pruning or any of the many tasks we perform as gardeners but, if you leave things too long, pests and weeds start choking out the plants that were placed there with so much care in the first place. If things are left too long, a state of imbalance occurs and in the human body, just as in the garden, that expresses itself as a disease, pain and discomfort.
The job of the acupuncturist is to assess the imbalance and rebalance this vitality, which the Chinese call Qi (pronounced Chee). Once the acupuncturist has established the ‘landscape’ of the imbalance he/she then seeks to restore balance to this flow of vitality by inserting needles as fine as a human hair in some of the many acupuncture points in the body.
Does it hurt?
If you take one strand of hair from your head and pluck it out there is a short lived ‘ouch!’ sensation. Acupuncture is just like that. You feel it as the fine needle enters your body and then, while the needles remain in place for about twenty minutes or so, you don’t feel it again after that initial entry.
What if I really hate needles?
Because so many people in the West have phobias about needles that often stem from a childhood trauma, acupuncturists have worked with scientists to develop ways of using the same principles without the necessity of inserting needles.
How do I book an appointment?
Acupunture is available to members following an initial consultation with Karen Middlemiss our MS Support Manager.
Find out more about becoming a member of the centre. Membership entitles a person with MS to access all of the centre’s services if appropriate.