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Kathrine Harker
R.G.N.,Lic.Ac., M.BAc.C, BSc. (Hons)

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture Treatment

Kathrine Harker



A Brief History of Chinese Acupuncture and What it is

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is a system of healing which dates back over 3,000 years. Originating in China and other 'Eastern' countries Acupuncture is now practised widely throughout the world.

The origins of Chinese Acupuncture can be traced back to the two Chinese Classic books of medicine 'The Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine) and The Nan Jing (The Classic of Difficult Issues). These books were compiled in the first and second centuries and detail the theories which form the basis for Chinese medicine today. These include Yin and Yang, the concept that Qi (pronounced Chi) or vital energy flows freely around the body and the understanding of the functions of internal organs.

It is a means of strengthening the body, which can be weakened by modern-day stress and environmental hazards. Rather than treating symptoms as western medicine does, Chinese medicine focuses on strengthening your own vital energy (Qi) so that your body can heal itself. Chinese masters analysed Qi and determined the pathways that Qi travels through the body. From this study they located points in the body where Qi communicates with the surface of the body. These points are the basis for Acupuncture and Moxibustion therapy. By diagnosing and treating the channels and internal organs the balance, or harmony, can be restored.

Although traditional Chinese medicine uses many approaches, including diet, exercise, and massage, its cornerstones are Acupuncture and herbal medicine. Herbs provide the internal treatment for strengthening the body, while Acupuncture is Chinese medicine's most frequently used external treatment.


1. Body

Acupuncture is the treatment of conditions through the use of needles. By inserting fine needles into the pathways of energy an Acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing powers and help to restore the natural balance of Yin and Yang. Visit our Needles page for full details of the treatment.

2. Auricular

Auricular (or ear) Acupuncture is a specialised Acupuncture treatment where points on the outer ear are treated using needles to help to relieve a number of common conditions. The ear has traditionally been regarded of great importance in Traditional Chinese Medicine since it is thought to be crossed by all the major meridians of the body. According to Chinese medical theory there are as many as 200 Acupoints on each ear relating to different parts of the body and each of these points are usually known after areas of the anatomy.  It is therefore possible to treat, for example, a painful knee through the knee Acupoint on the outer ear.


Moxibustion is when a herb is burnt to gently warm the body energy as it flows within the system. It supplies a direct injection of heat energy through specific points which corrects any imbalance in Ying and Yang.  Read more about Moxibustion on our Moxibustion page.

The 5 Elements

Five Element Acupuncture is a unique system which treats the whole person, body, mind and spirit.  Each patient is considered individual and each treatment is tailored to their needs.

The Chinese have understood for thousands of years that as the seasons change in nature, they change also within us.  They recognise that the five elements, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood (corresponding to Summer,  late Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring) govern the body organs and systems and that when vital energy (Qi) flows unhindered through these organs it brings peace, harmony and lack of dis-ease.

Each Element carries an emotion. For instance: The Water Element, corresponding with Winter, governs the bladder and kidneys and if Water is out of balance there is fear. The sound of the voice changes and this change is a red flag for the practitioner, a cry for help from the patient.

Five Element Acupuncture works to remove blocks, to restore energy to deficient areas, to open gates, to allow Qi to flow,  because where Qi flows, it heals. This wonderful system can treat patients who 'just don't feel well' but have no physical symptoms.


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