Susan Bishop Acupuncture

Member of the British Acupuncture Council

Acupuncture is part of a system of Oriental Medicine that can trace its roots to theories originally first discussed over 2500 years ago. The system has evolved from the theories of different schools of thought, such as Taoist, Confucian, Five Elements and Yin and Yang. They all have a basis in the observation of nature and its effects on people and the belief that each being has an inner energetic state or life force called qi. The main historical texts are the Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine), from approx. 200 BC, and the Nan Jing (Classic of Difficulties), from approx 200 AD. These texts along with others were reviewed in the 1950’s by communist China to form modern day Oriental Medical theory.

Yin and Yang symbol

Although many people have seen the Yin Yang symbol not all understand the underlying principles. Yin and Yang are two types of energies that exist in everything around us in differing degrees. Whilst Yin relates to stillness, dark, night, cold, winter and earth, Yang relates to the opposite movement, light, day, warmth, summer, and the heavens. In illness the same relationships can be applied, so if a person is restless especially at night and hot, they are deficient in Yin energy, or conversely if they are cold and lethargic they are deficient in Yang energy.

Acupuncture treatment involves the use of needles in points along meridians in the body to help balance Yin and Yang and the flow of qi. Illness may be caused by blockages in the flow of qi, deficiency, excess or outside pathogens. Oriental medicine theory has 12 main organs, which in the main are recognisable, such as heart, lung, liver, kidneys, small and large intestine, stomach and spleen. The meridians are named after the 12 organs, along with 2 extra meridians that run up the centre of the front and back of the body.

The Five elements relate to the seasons, spring being Wood, summer- Fire, late summer/harvest-Earth, autumn-Metal, and winter-Water. Within Five Element Acupuncture each element relates to a certain type of emotion and organs of the body, for example the Metal element relates to grief and the Lungs. This connection is often noticeable in the catching of the voice when expressing grief. Each person will have a constitutional weakness in one or more of the elements that will be addressed in treatment.

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