Two main groups of health professionals employ acupuncture techniques in their clinical work. The main group are professional traditional acupuncturists who have normally completed a 3,500 hour, degree level training in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

The training includes the study of conventional clinical sciences as well as formal instruction in an authentic holistic tradition of a medical practice that has been established in China over the last 2,500 years. This is the style of acupuncture recognised by many governments which have legal licensing of its practice, such as those of China, Japan, Australia and the US. Traditional acupuncture is practiced by over 1 million acupuncturists worldwide. 

Monday, 08 December 2014 00:00

More about traditional acupuncture diagnosis

The underlying principle of traditional acupuncture is, that all the body's functions are connected by the flow of qi (or vital energy). Stress in this model is associated with a constriction or stagnation in the flow of qi. As the stagnation builds over time, the emotional difficulties experienced - agitation, depression, and mood swings, digestive disorders, feelings of distension in the chest and abdomen, and menstrual disharmonies, will slowly increase. A traditional acupuncture practitioner might also want to look at imbalances in 2 other underlying principles, namely the Yin principle and an additional quality or substance which underlies this system of medicine, Shen. Again, this has no direct equivalent in the English language, but it has to do with our ability to concentrate and focus on tasks and thought processes, and is also important in allowing us to quieten at night and to rest and sleep properly. The Yin principle is part of the double principle of yin/yang, or pairs of opposite characteristics that are seen in many instances in nature and also with physiological processes. For example activity and waking is associated with yang whereas yin is associated with sleep and rest.

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