Morley Acupuncture Clinic
1 Queen Street, Morley, Leeds LS27 8EG, UK
Founder & Director
John P. Heptonstall, MD (MA.), DSc (MA), BSc. (Hons.) Applied Science, M.I.Ac.S., M.B.Ac.C
Traditional Chinese Medicine - Acupuncture & Moxibustion Specialist
Preeti - Physiotherapist with Physiobeats
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The World Health Organization recommended 'acupuncture' in the treatment of over 40 different disorders as far back as 1981, as follows:-
Upper Respiratory Tract and Respiratory System:- 1.Acute sinusitis 2.Acute rhinitis 3.Common cold 4. Acute tonsillitis 5. Acute bronchitis 6. Bronchial asthma
Eyes and Mouth Disorders:- 7. Acute conjunctivitis 8.Central retinitis 9.Myopia (in children) 10.Cataract (without complications) 11.Toothache 12.Post-extraction pain 13.Gingivitis 14.Acute and chronic pharyngitis
Gastro-intestinal Disorders:- 15.Spasm of esophagus 16.Hiccough 17.Gastroptosis 18.Acute and chronic gastritis 19.Gastric hyperacidity 20.Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief) 21.Acute duodenal ulcer (without complications) 22.Acute and chronic colitis 23.Acute bacillary dysentery 24.Constipation 25.Diarrohea 26.Paralytic ileus
Neurological & Musculo-skeletal Disorders:- 27.Headache 28.Trigeminal neuralgia 29.Migraine 30.Facial palsy (early stage within 3 to 6 months) 31.Pareses following stroke 32.Peripheral neuropathies 33.Sequellae of poliomyelitis (early stage within 3 to 6 months) 34.Menieres Disease 35.Neurologic bladder dysfunction 36.Nocturnal enuresis 37.Intercostal neuralgia 38.Cervicobrachial syndrome 39.Frozen shoulder 40.Tennis elbow 41. Sciatica 42.Low back pain 43.Osteoarthritis
In addition to these a typical practitioner will regularly be asked to treat the following:-
MS, ME, emotional disorders such as Anxiety states and Depression, PVS, CFS, various conditions which can occur during Pregnancy but for which care must be taken not to interfere adversely with the pregnancy, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Polymyalgia Rheumatica, SLE, Epilepsy, Infertility and Impotence, and many others.
TCM has always paid great attention to epidemiology, the study of the causes and patterns of diseases. Over the millennia a great deal of knowledge has been amassed about how environment, lifestyle, work and play, relationships, emotional situations and reactions to situations and indeed all life situations can affect our health. Advice on diet is the norm rather than exception and traditional advice tends to revolve around the diagnosis, For example if one is deemed to have a 'liver' function problem one is advised to avoid food that may aggravate this condition until the 'liver function' has recovered with treatment. This may mean avoiding for example hard fats, cheese, chocolate, alcohol for a few weeks. If a 'kidney' problem we may advise avoidance of salty and citric foods temporarily (or we may advise an increase in these).
Modern technology has provided other tools to improve our dietary advice; we have found the Vegatest to be a useful tool. Readings provide information about food and environment sensitivities, vitamin and mineral analysis, and have proved a useful addition to the TCM advice and treatment.
Some patients seem to react badly to 'pulsed magnetic fields', and there may be a work or home environmental source at the heart of a developing condition. The Clinic uses a Trifield Meter to determine measurements of magnetic, electric, radio and microwave radiation at locations as requested by patients. Advice is given on how to avoid, remove or modify a source that is suspected of being pathogenic to the patient; remarkable recoveries have been noted when such sources have been eliminated from the patient's immediate environment.
One of the great benefits of the TCM approach to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease is its objectivity. Nothing is discounted without careful analysis of its potential as a pathogen, this includes chemical and electromagnetic environments - controversial topics, often taboo for medical practitioners if involved in commercial and/or political factors. TCM practitioners are generally funded by patients and are usually free of commercial or political encumbrance so tend to analyze any suspected pathogen as objectively and scientifically as possible before providing relevant advice. The interests of the patient must remain paramount.
The Theory of 'Ching Luo' is fundamental to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctrine. Ching Luo means Channels and Collaterals which are the 'meridian lines' through which the energy of life, QI, flows in a regular cycle. These meridian lines form a matrix around the body, described in traditional charts, and are referred to by modern Chinese medics as 'The Third Equilibrium'. The other three of the Four 'Equilibria' :-
1. The First Equilibrium which includes the Somatic Nervous System (controlling voluntary muscle movement) whose speed of transmission is about 70 to 120 metres per sec.
2. The Second Equilibrium which includes the Autonomic Nervous System (controlling actions of the viscera) with transmission speeds of 2 to 14 metres per sec. and
3. The Fourth Equilibrium which controls the slow equilibrium of the Internal Secretion system and other tissues and organs of the body.
The Third Equilibrium, the Meridian System, is as yet unrecognized by Western Medicine.
(MENG Zhaowei; Institute of Acupuncture & Meridians, Anhui College of TCM, Hefei, China).
'Acupuncture & Moxibustion' is the modality through which the Four Equilibria are balanced, rather like an electrician balances an electronic system, by practitioners of this ancient yet ultra-modern technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine. If the 'QI flow' is correctly balanced it is said that the body cannot suffer disease. One can accept that if the relationship between the Four Equilibria were to be finely tuned and balanced it would be difficult for the human body to suffer disease of any aspect of the body controlled by these four major systems.
In order to treat a disorder by TCM one has to recognize and understand the disorder in terms of TCM. This will usually involve analysis of a patient's physiological state in accordance with the principles laid down by TCM. Nowadays this involves detailed history taking, including input provided by the patient's medical practitioner, in the UK this is usually the General Practitioner (GP), and perhaps a Specialist if involved, and/or other practitioners the patient may have visited such as a chiropractor, osteopath or homeopath. The TCM diagnosis may involve a combination of
a. Questions about signs, symptoms and lifestyle
b. Analysis of bodily features such as face, tongue, eyes, skin etc.
c. Taking of one's pulse at the radial aspect of the wrist bilaterally
d. Smelling of, and questions about, any unusual odors emitted by the patient from pores, urine, mouth, bowels etc since the onset of the apparent disorder.
The combination of signs, symptoms, history, palpation, looking, hearing, smelling plus any technical data derived from Western medical sources will be assessed by the practitioner who will then arrive at a differential diagnosis. From that TCM diagnosis a treatment pattern emerges and this will be explained to the patient. If it is deemed necessary to involve the GP or Specialist at this stage, to elicit more data or to request alteration in drug regime or perhaps further medical tests, the patient's permission will be sought before any such contacts are made. If it is thought that the TCM treatment may interfere with, or can be inhibited by, any other treatment the patient is undergoing from medical or other practitioners the patient will be advised thus and will be asked to contact the practitioner to arrange for temporary cessation of the other treatment if agreeable.
If the practitioner decides that it is right to begin treatment a prescription is designed to intervene to correct the patient's problem. This involves the insertion of very fine stainless steel needles into the tissues, most of which is painless, and possibly the use of moxibustion where the herb artemesia vulgaris, or moxa, is burnt on the needles, or over the skin using a 'moxa cigar' or other method of application, to introduce heat into the tissues to promote circulation and healing. Initial treatments tend to be simpler and of shorter duration than follow-up treatments as the practitioner wishes to develop the treatment pattern and power to suit the patient. A stronger treatment, although it can induce rapid benefit, can promote a stronger 'healing crisis' as the body readjusts dramatically to its new state caused by the treatment so the patient can feel discomfort of one kind or another (depending on systems activated) for a day or two; thereafter the body's homeostatic mechanism takes control and the patient regains 'balance' prior to treatment with either an improvement or no change. Over the course of the first few treatments it is usual for the patient to feel gradual benefits which increase with time.
If after three or four treatments there is little change it may suggest one or more of several things are happening:-
a. The prescriptions are ineffective
b. The treatments are not strong enough to overcome the 'cause/s' of the disorder
c. The disorder is so chronic that it may only respond positively after several more treatments
d. There is some factor/s that is/are inhibiting a potentially effective treatment from working (eg. the patient has a temporary infection, is undergoing a period of dramatic stress, is following dietary or exercise habits that counteract improvement, is taking medication that is inhibiting improvement, etc.). The practitioner will realize that something is amiss and should take appropriate action, if necessary giving advice to make changes, in some cases the 'cause' may be the root of the disorder eg. an anxiety state linked to personal or employment problems, pregnancy, an environment which precludes rapid improvement (chemical, electromagnetic etc.). Although these effects can interfere with and slow down recovery they do not usually prevent improvements.
Regular treatments can usually overcome the most aggressive problems but the patient's recovery will tend to slip back when left without treatment for extensive periods if the 'cause' has not been dealt with. Advice is given by a practitioner about the potential 'cause' and it is up to the patient to make necessary adjustments to their lifestyle and environment to facilitate recovery.
Many patients begin to recover within the first three or four treatments; the pain diminishes, mood improves, other negative physiological problems begin to resolve. At each follow-up session the practitioner will request an update on the latest signs and symptoms, and will adjust the treatment prescription accordingly. It is not possible to judge when a patient will fully recover, and some may never fully recover but may make significant progress, it all depends on the type and chronicity of a disorder and whether the patient has the time and wherewithal to continue what in some cases may be a lengthy course of treatment, and whether the 'cause' is treatable/capable of being eliminated from the patient's life.