Acupuncture is an ancient medical system which has been practised in China and other Eastern countries for thousands of years. It forms part of the traditional medicine of China (TCM) together with tui-na massage and herbal medicine and viewed as a complementary therapy in Western world. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Qi (or vital energy) circulates through a series of invisible channels beneath the skin. Qi consists of equal and opposite qualities – Yin and Yang – and when these become unbalanced, the flow of Qi is disrupted and over time, ill health may occur. The flow of Qi can be disturbed by factors such as emotional states, poor nutrition, stimulants, weather conditions, hereditary factors, infections, toxins and trauma.
Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of very fine needles in key areas along the channels (acupuncture points) to stimulate and balance Qi in order to restore health. Taking into account a wide range of signs and symptoms (including tongue and pulse diagnosis) the aim is to identify a pattern which points to an underlying imbalance that can be corrected by safe and effective treatment.
Today, acupuncture is used extensively in state hospitals in China alongside Western medicine and is now available on the NHS and in GP practices in Highgate and the rest of the UK.
In simple terms the role of the Osteopath is to relieve pain, improve mobility and to make patients lives more comfortable by stimulating their own healing response. Through a combination of direct, hands-on techniques and postural and lifestyle advice, osteopathy can enable people to return to normal activities with minimal delay. The techniques applied may be soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation or manipulation, Cranial Therapy or a combination of these. Treatment is often carried out through light clothing or you may be asked to remove some outer garments if necessary.
Osteopaths assess and treat a wide range of healthcare issues in both adults and children. They spend most of their working lives dealing with pain whether is occurs early in life as a result of a difficult birth, in adulthood due to accidents or occupational strain or in later life due to arthritis. Some conditions commonly treated are low back and neck pain, headaches and migraine, sciatica and trapped nerves and sports injuries.
Osteopathy is a holistic approach helpful in pregnancy when the bodily changes can cause strains which may result in painful symptoms both during and after pregnancy.
For babies and children the treatment option of choice is usually Cranial Therapy, a subtle manipulation of the plates of the skull and other joints of the body that have undergone significant strains during birth – this treatment is also very effective for adults.
Practitioners and price information: Denise Payne
Reflexology treats the whole person by stimulating precise areas on the feet and hands known as reflexes. These reflexes correspond to all structures and organs of the body and energy field. The theory of reflexology is that the stimulation encourages the re-balancing of the person through deep relaxation and reducing stress and tension. This may encourage the body to renew and repair itself and restore its own healthy balance. May improve sleep, mood and mental state, increase coping ability and improve well-being.
Reflexology is supportive with issues of fertility and sub-fertility for men and women and whilst undergoing assisted conception programmes.
This complementary therapy is suitable from conception, through each trimester of pregnancy and may help prepare for labour and birth. Post-natal benefits include re-adjustment of hormones, helps with breast feeding issues, and adjustment to being a parent.
Practitioners and price information: Natalie Roth
Psychonomy is a smooth manual method coming from France. It is very similar to osteopathy but involves softer touch, with more global effects.
It is recommended for anyone and any kind of pain, physical, or emotional, such as shock pains, stressed muscles or bones, early or old pains in any part of your body for example. It can also help with sleep disorder or stress, with headaches and migraines as well as helping you to recover from fatigue and maintain a very good energy level.
Psychonomy is also efficient to help with exams nerves, surgery, or to prepare you for very important professional meetings or any kind of situation when you need to be fully ready.
Psychonomy is also a complementary technique to assist any kind of other medical treatment.
A session is around 30 minutes long and you will need very few sessions to feel better.
Maintenance involves 4 sessions a year to keep going at your optimal level.
Practitioners and price information: Haydee Henderuckx