Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shropshire & Church Stretton

It is estimated that over 9 million people are using complementary therapies in the UK with the highest percentage using Acupuncture regularly. Anecdotal evidence is in abundance with reports of people feeling more energised with less pain, better sleep and a significant reduction in their symptoms. More and more people are rejecting strong, addictive painkillers and realise that some drugs can cause even more problems - which then require more drugs. Pharmaceutical companies could be accused of being in the business of wanting to keep us unwell!

It is interesting that the NHS are turning more and more to Acupuncture as a viable treatment protocol for multiple conditions such as backache, knee pain. digestive issues, fertility issues, menopausal issues and skin complaints whilst the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) currently only recommends Acupuncture for migraine and tension headaches

What many people may not realise, is that there is a distinct difference between practitioners of TCM and Acupuncture which is performed by medical professionals.

Most western practitioners of Acupuncture, such as Nurses or Physiotherapists practice a technique called “Dry-needling” which is not based on any Chinese medicine theory and is usually learned over a weekend. TCM practitioners have generally attended a four-year degree Acupuncture course, which is based on a diagnostic model and incorporating over 300 clinical hours practice.

The fundamental difference between the two styles is that the TCM approaches diagnoses health holistically rather than a linear, symptom led approach used by the dry-needlers.  The TCM approach will identify just why the issue is happening and develop a treatment plan to tackle the symptoms as well as the root cause. Western dry-needling is limited to treating the symptoms only.

Lifestyle, exercise and nutrition advice is also part of the TCM diagnostic and of course, it should be. Food is an energetic, everything we put on our skin has an energetic, how our bowels work, how our food is digested, how happy we are, how we sleep, all contribute to our overall wellness. These are the areas a TCM practitioner is also interested in and where positive change happens even if treatment is, say, for a painful knee.

A TCM practitioner will also use many other subtle signs such as facial colour, pulse diagnosis, body temperature, how the tongue presents as indicators of health and will use a toolkit of treatments in addition to the Acupuncture needles. Cupping, Gua Sha and Electro Acupuncture are all part of TCM.

So, then there is the question as to whether Acupuncture is an evidence based medicine. The British Medical Journal cite EMB as “the meticulous, precise and prudent use in clinical procedures of best possible scientific evidences concerning the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of a given therapy”.

All well and good and very effective when measuring pharmaceuticals in clinical drug trials. In this instance, the drugs are tested against treatment of a control group which will either be a placebo or against a standard treatment already in use.

So, just how can inserting stainless steel needles the width of a hair just below the skin, be measured in the same manner as pharmaceutical clinical trials? It is rather like Aristotle realising there was a speed of sound, but not having the mathematical equation to measure it. As with Acupuncture, how can the movement of our Qi (pronounced Chi) be measured with current scientific methodology? This Qi is untouchable, intangible, yet it is our Qi which tells us we are experiencing pain. Just because it can’t be measured doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and until we have the equipment to measure energy, it is likely the arguments for and against will go unresolved for many years.

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Anecdotal or evidence based, TCM is really worth trying, particularly if the western model isn’t working for you. You don’t need to believe in it for it to work and it treats any condition.

It is advised that when choosing your TCM practitioner that they are a member of a professional body such as The British Acupuncture Council or ATCM.

Amanda Hair, Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and College Lecturer practising from The Mayfair Centre, Church Stretton and soon to be established in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Telephone: 01694 722522 or mobile 07747 126570

[email protected]

www.acupuncturebristol.co.uk

It is estimated that over 9 million people are using complementary therapies in the UK with the highest percentage using Acupuncture regularly. Anecdotal evidence is in abundance with reports of people feeling more energised with less pain, better sleep and a significant reduction in their symptoms. More and more people are rejecting strong, addictive painkillers and realise that some drugs can cause even more problems - which then require more drugs. Pharmaceutical companies could be accused of being in the business of wanting to keep us unwell!

It is interesting that the NHS are turning more and more to Acupuncture as a viable treatment protocol for multiple conditions such as backache, knee pain. digestive issues, fertility issues, menopausal issues and skin complaints whilst the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) currently only recommends Acupuncture for migraine and tension headaches

What many people may not realise, is that there is a distinct difference between practitioners of TCM and Acupuncture which is performed by medical professionals.

Most western practitioners of Acupuncture, such as Nurses or Physiotherapists practice a technique called “Dry-needling” which is not based on any Chinese medicine theory and is usually learned over a weekend. TCM practitioners have generally attended a four-year degree Acupuncture course, which is based on a diagnostic model and incorporating over 300 clinical hours practice.

The fundamental difference between the two styles is that the TCM approaches diagnoses health holistically rather than a linear, symptom led approach used by the dry-needlers.  The TCM approach will identify just why the issue is happening and develop a treatment plan to tackle the symptoms as well as the root cause. Western dry-needling is limited to treating the symptoms only.

Lifestyle, exercise and nutrition advice is also part of the TCM diagnostic and of course, it should be. Food is an energetic, everything we put on our skin has an energetic, how our bowels work, how our food is digested, how happy we are, how we sleep, all contribute to our overall wellness. These are the areas a TCM practitioner is also interested in and where positive change happens even if treatment is, say, for a painful knee.

A TCM practitioner will also use many other subtle signs such as facial colour, pulse diagnosis, body temperature, how the tongue presents as indicators of health and will use a toolkit of treatments in addition to the Acupuncture needles. Cupping, Gua Sha and Electro Acupuncture are all part of TCM.

So, then there is the question as to whether Acupuncture is an evidence based medicine. The British Medical Journal cite EMB as “the meticulous, precise and prudent use in clinical procedures of best possible scientific evidences concerning the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of a given therapy”.

All well and good and very effective when measuring pharmaceuticals in clinical drug trials. In this instance, the drugs are tested against treatment of a control group which will either be a placebo or against a standard treatment already in use.

So, just how can inserting stainless steel needles the width of a hair just below the skin, be measured in the same manner as pharmaceutical clinical trials? It is rather like Aristotle realising there was a speed of sound, but not having the mathematical equation to measure it. As with Acupuncture, how can the movement of our Qi (pronounced Chi) be measured with current scientific methodology? This Qi is untouchable, intangible, yet it is our Qi which tells us we are experiencing pain. Just because it can’t be measured doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and until we have the equipment to measure energy, it is likely the arguments for and against will go unresolved for many years.

.Anecdotal or evidence based, TCM is really worth trying, particularly if the western model isn’t working for you. You don’t need to believe in it for it to work and it treats any condition.

It is advised that when choosing your TCM practitioner that they are a member of a professional body such as The British Acupuncture Council or ATCM.

Amanda Hair, Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and College Lecturer practising from The Mayfair Centre, Church Stretton and soon to be established in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

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