Traditional Five Element Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine that originated in China over 2000 years ago. In Chinese philosophy we are made up of Five Elements; these are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.
When the elements are in balance we experience good health and are able to live a full happy life.
Over time one or more of the elements can become weak for a number of reasons such as stress, illness, shock, poor nutrition, medication and other emotional states such as anger, fear, worry, grief or sadness. This weakness can be the root cause of many health conditions. Therefore understanding which of the Five Elements is out of balance is fundamental in treating the root cause of problems.
Strengthening the weakened element at the root of the problem rebalances the body, mind and emotions allowing our healing process to take place naturally. This is an important principle of Traditional Five Element Acupuncture because not only does it treat specific conditions, it also prevents recurring symptoms and also acts as a preventative medicine. Since each and every one of us is unique in our constitutional make-up, treatments are tailored to strengthen individual weaknesses.
How does acupuncture work?
Treatment uses very fine (size of hair) sterile disposable needles. The experience of a treatment is a relaxing one and benefit is usually felt within four or five treatments. The needles are inserted just under the skin to help correct and rebalance the flow of energy, which promotes natural healing.
Moxibustion is a technique that involves the burning of a Chinese Herb, called Mugwort also known as Artemesia Vulgaris over acupuncture points or affected parts of the body. Moxibustion is a deeply nourishing treatment which has been shown to increase blood circulation. It can help to strengthen blood and encourage smooth flow of energy which promotes wellbeing. It is often used for pain relief in muscles and joints as the infusion of heat can bring instant relief.
What is Moxibustion used for?
Moxibustion is used for many conditions, some of which include:
- Pain relief in muscles and joints e.g. arthritis, tendonitis
- Sports injuries
- Gynaecological conditions (endometriosis, menstrual cramps)
- Digestive complaints
- Turning breech babies, foetal movement
- Temperature regulation.
Chinese Medicine Nutrition
Chinese medicine classifies food according to its energetic properties, for example some foods are viewed as warming and nourishing while others are seen as cooling and eliminating; some foods are useful for building blood whilst others nourish and build energy.
Your underlying constitution, including the strength of your digestive system, determines what foods are most suitable for you. It is about eating nourishing healthy food that is right for individual body types. Therefore it is important in traditional Chinese medicine, to help identify foods that suit individuals rather than following guidelines that do not account for constitutional differences. If required, as part of your treatment plan I will work in partnership with you on dietary requirements to help you reach your health and wellbeing goals.
The Five Flavours of Food and Examples
In Chinese medicine, food is classified according to five flavours (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty) and four natures (cool, cold, warm and hot). These properties can be used to predict the effects of food on the body. For example raw food is the most cooling for the body, requiring more energy to digest than food that has been cooked.
Salty foods such as soya sauce and kelp are cooling and hold fluids in the body. Sweet foods can have a nourishing effect on the body, some examples are nuts, dairy products, fruits, rice, honey and starchy vegetables. Bitter foods are useful for draining heat and have a cooling effect such as rhubarb. Sour foods also have a cooling effect and can aid digestion for example grapefruit and olives. Pungent or spicy foods such as chillies and onion have a warming property which encourages energy to move upwards and outwards to the body’s surface therefore they have useful properties in dispersing mucus from the lungs.
What are the benefits of Nutritional therapy?
- Increased energy and wellbeing
- Weight management
- Management of cravings
- Improved sleep
- Mental clarity and concentration
- Stable and positive mood
- Improved immunity and resistance to colds and infections
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease e.g. high cholesterol, diabetes
- Increased libido
- Increased chances of fertility
- Healthier hair, skin and nails
- Better circulation and temperature regulation.
Facial Revitalisation offers a natural alternative to invasive cosmetic surgery, Botox fillers and chemical (glycolic) peels. It is a holistic treatment that works on combating and delaying the signs of aging, improving skin condition as well as enhancing overall wellbeing.
It is an ancient therapy dating over 2000 years in which the Chinese recognised that beauty comes from “within”. They discovered ways to naturally change the flow of energy within the body to initiate the process of looking and feeling youthful.
Recently there has been increasing media coverage on the benefits of facial acupuncture for example the Daily Mail reports it being “as good as Botox”
Famous celebrities who are reported to have used facial revitalisation acupuncture include Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery and many more. It has also been featured to “improve your appearance naturally” on Channel 4’s TV series 10 Years Younger.
What Happens During Treatment?
Details of your medical history, your skin care regime and lifestyle will be taken to identify your constitutional strengths and weaknesses. Treatment will then be tailored to your requirements.
Firstly, needles are inserted on the body to balance your individual constitution. This has the effect of promoting “internal beauty” and wellbeing. These are retained throughout the length of the treatment which is usually up to an hour.
After removing makeup, extremely fine, sterilised, disposable needles are inserted to promote energy and blood circulation to the facial skin and muscles. Needles are applied to key areas of the face, head and neck. These are retained for 30 to 40 minutes. During this time, additional techniques may be used around problem areas.
After the needles are removed, a facial massage using Tui Na (Chinese Massage) is given. This uses a slightly firmer pressure than normal facials and is an effective part of the treatment. The treatment is completed by a gentle massage with oil.
How many sessions will I need?
The recommended course of the facial revitalisation acupuncture treatment is between 10-15 sessions which can be booked twice or once a week. You individual requirements and treatment plan will be discussed with you. This will vary with age, diet, skin care regime and lifestyle.
What are the benefits of facial revitalisation acupuncture?
- Renews and rejuvenates skin by increasing collagen production and blood and lymph circulation to the face and scalp.
- Softens and minimises the appearance of fine lines Improves skin tone and quality
- Relaxes facial muscles
- Stimulates the skin’s natural ability to regenerate itself by removing toxins from the skin.
It can target specific problems such as:
- wrinkles, frown lines and crows feet
- deep laughter lines
- sagging skin and muscles (including on the neck)
- drooping jaw line
- eczema, acne
- blotchy skin tone
- drooping eye lids eye bags and puffy eyes
- dark shadows under the eyes
- dark spots
- imbalanced complexion – dry, oily.
The art of Auricular Acupuncture is where acupuncture points on the outer ears are treated using needles or magnets to relieve many complaints and conditions. The approach is a holistic one aimed at treating the whole person not just the problem.
In Chinese Medicine, the ears represent the whole human body and acupuncture points relate to a specific part of the body e.g. heart, liver, lungs, nose, eyes, shoulders, knees, etc. Therefore we can treat every part of the body through the ears alone.
Inserting very fine needles or using magnets as a non-invasive method on various acupuncture points, stimulates the natural healing mechanism of the body and helps to rebalance it. During treatment most patients feel relaxed and have a sense of well being. Sometimes the patient can experience heat sensations on the corresponding part of the body that is being treated.
- Addictions: drug, alcohol and tobacco
- Anxiety, stress and depression
- Digestive disorders: IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Musculo-skeletal conditions: frozen shoulder, sciatica
- Pain management
- Weight management.
Gua Sha is a healing technique used throughout the Asian continent. It is used to move stagnant blood and stimulate the movement of energy to eliminate toxins from the body. “Gua” means friction or to rub. “Sha” is blood drawn to the surface of the skin, similar to a rash which usually fades within a few days.
The technique involves applying friction to the affected area, similar to “scraping” with a round-edged instrument (like a soup spoon) in repeated even strokes. This is a gentle technique which does not cause any discomfort to you and many find relaxing. Within minutes the stagnant blood “Sha” is drawn to the surface of the skin and in most cases immediate relief from pain and stiffness is experienced.
What is Gua Sha used for?
Gua Sha rebalances metabolic processes and promotes circulation therefore it is effective for treating pain in acute and chronic disorders. Gua Sha can be used for:
- Any type of muscular pain and stiffness e.g. frozen shoulder, back pain, whiplash, sciatica,
- Headaches and Migraines
- Common colds and influenza
- Respiratory conditions such as coughs, asthma
- Digestive disorders e.g. diarrhoea
- Cosmetic therapy
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
Gua Sha also has additional benefits of:
- improving circulation in the area which is being scraped and promoting blood flow to muscles, tissues, and organs beneath the surface treated
- Increased mobility by immediate relief of pain and stiffness
- Improved temperature regulation
- Strengthening the immune system
- Balancing the mind and emotions.
Cupping is an ancient treatment which focuses on moving “congestion” such as stagnant blood, energy and body fluids, such as lymphatic fluid.
In Chinese Medicine stagnation causes energy blockages which can manifest as pain and poor wellbeing. Stagnation can be a result of injury or stress.
Glass or plastic cups are placed on the area affected to create a vacuum which draws toxins to the surface of the skin. This “suction effect” naturally stimulates the movement of blood to the external capillaries of the body. This promotes circulation, enhances metabolism, and drains toxins through activating the lymphatic and immune systems. Sometimes minor bruises may be left after a treatment. This normally clears mmediately or can take 3-7 days. Most people feel immediate relief from pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
What is cupping used for?
- Pain relief in muscles and joints
- Deep tissue massage
- Sports injuries
- Chest congestion, coughs, colds and asthma
- Abdominal pain
- Skin conditions e.g. eczema, stretch marks
- Muscle atrophy
- Clearing veins and arteries e.g. varicose veins.
For information about these treatments please contact Mita who would be happy to talk through any of your questions.