Acupuncture is part of a comprehensive healthcare system first established in China. It has a clinical history of over 3000 years, during which time the philosophy and practice have travelled across Asia, leaving a lasting impact on how medicine is approached and conducted in the East. Over the last 40 years acupuncture has begun to be adopted in the West, where we continue to learn about the health benefits it has to offer, along with how it can be integrated into modern medical practice for the better of the patient.
The conceptual basis of acupuncture is rooted in the the principles of yin and yang. Yin yang theory is a system of dualism that promotes the idea of balance and harmony in nature through a dynamic opposition that operates in a co-dependent cycle, where one cannot exist without the other.
In people, the yin relates to the female attribute and the yang the male, in the broader context the yin relates to the moon and the yang the sun; in Chinese Medicine dualism can be broken down to correspond with the physiology of the body in health and the pathology of the body in illness.
Chinese Medicine recognises the internal state of the body as a mirror of its external environment. This is explained as a holographic relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm. As described by Livia Kohn in her writing about early Chinese philosophy: "in the ecstatic vision of the body, its true inner structure is identical with the organisation of the universe." This is a philosophy that is not limited to Chinese Medicine, Charles Darwin communicated a similar paradigm when examining complex life: "each living creature must be looked at as a micrcosm - a little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars in heaven."
In ill health acupuncture is used to rebalance the system as a whole; to restore healthy circulation, functionality and vitality. It focuses on the individual more than their diseases, however it is considered to be an effective form of treatment for a wide range of conditions. It can be used to support the immunity; to treat infectious diseases; to treat acute conditions and chronic degenerative conditions; it is used for pain management and rehabilitation; to treat chemical dependency and it is commonly used for mental and emotional well being. Many patients also use acupuncture for maintenance, having seasonal treatments to help support their general health.
Research carried out has demonstrated that acupuncture is able to:
- Stimulate bone regrowth
Stimulate the production of cortisol
Stimulate the production of dynorphin, endorphin and enkephalin (pain modulators)
Regulate blood pressure
Regulate serotonin (spinal cord pain modulator)
Increase red and white blood cell count
Stimulate the clotting factor
Regulate the sympathetic nervous system
Regulates the peripheral blood flow
Enhance the immune response
Reduce the allergic response
Modulate the immune system
Research carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that acupuncture is one of the safest forms of treatment available and is suitable for all ages, including babies and young children.
Acupuncture provides a safe, natural and effective form of treatment that is cost effective and increasingly popular.
"Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory”
ABOUT BETHAN DIXON
Bethan is a licensed acupuncturist, qualifying with a First Class BSc Honours degree in Acupuncture from the International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM), (University of Greenwich). She is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the UK’s foremost regulatory body.
When treating, as well as examining presenting symptoms, Bethan uses body diagnosis and will take a full medical history, which explores both congenital factors and the individual constitution of the patient, in order to establish the best treatment strategy. Bethan will also look at lifestyle and diet and can offer nutritional advice based on the principles of Chinese Medicine. A qualified massage therapist, Bethan often uses massage and bodywork when treating patients and incorporates moxibustion and cupping where appropriate.
Bethan has treated patients presenting with a wide range of conditions, some of which include: respiratory issues, hay fever, shingles, digestive conditions, diabetes, gynaecological issues, migraines, headaches, tinnitus, insomnia, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis and muscular skeletal issues including frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, neck and back pain. She has pursued continuous professional development (CPD) in a number of areas including: Chinese Medicine nutrition, muscular skeletal conditions, facial acupuncture, women’s health and pregnancy.
Bethan practices classical acupuncture and is committed to CPD in this area, studying the teachings of the Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon) and traditional Chinese characters; their origin and context in classic medical texts. She has a keen interest in the preservation of the traditional principles that provide the foundation for Chinese Medicine.