What is Acupuncture?

Probably the world’s longest continuously practiced holistic therapy, it is an ancient therapeutic art developed in China about 2000 years ago. Since then, aiming to treat the whole person, it has provided effective relief from all manner of disease and disorder for many millions of people, utilizing its time-proven capacity to promote the body’s ability to initiate its own healing processes.

In the West

Acupuncture is mainly known for its modern application of controlling pain, though increasingly it is recognised as playing a valid role in primary health care based on current medical evidence. Many people find acupuncture beneficial with conditions where other forms of treatment have been unsuccessful, or when they are actively investigating realistic alternatives to prescription medication. 

In Japan

Over the past four centuries, acupuncture has experienced its own unique development in the hands of the blind acupuncture masters. This has resulted in it becoming the most delicate style in the world, continuously refined in search of maximising efficacy. It is also safe and without side effects. In Japanese acupuncture the finest of needles are delicately applied in a way which is both pleasurable and relaxing. It is therefore suitable for the young, the older person and even the needle-phobic! The needles used range from the finest gold silver or stainless steel filiform needles to non-insertive ones both round headed and conical. 

How does it work?

There is currently no satisfactory orthodox scientific explanation. It is commonly thought that it works by stimulating or blocking the nerves, but Japanese techniques are often too delicate to be felt by the patient, particularly with the ’Toyo Hari’ techniques which Merlin Young utilizes. In this respect, traditional explanations still serve best. In oriental medical tradition, any illness or symptom is determined as an imbalance in the individual’s qi or vital energy. Acupuncture aims to make small energetic adjustments to the body systems by stimulation of acupuncture points on ‘meridians’ in order to restore the overall balance of energy, thereby promoting better health.

What will Happen During a Treatment?

The initial visit will be longer than subsequent sessions – up to 1½ hours. This is vital for the purpose of taking a medical and life history, physical examination involving traditional oriental diagnostic skills such as feeling pulses and examining the tongue, diagnosing and devising a treatment strategy. This all leads to a ‘root’ treatment to address core imbalances. 

Treatment itself involves stimulation of acupuncture points at various locations on the body depending on the diagnosis, using one or more of the following techniques; needle stimulation, non-needle stimulation or moxibustion. Moxibustion is when a herb is smouldered over an acupuncture point either on the skin or on the handle of a needle. 

For Children

Merlin also practices shonishin techniques, a special style of non-needle acupuncture particularly suitable for the young. 

Responses to Treatment

Responses vary from person to person. Sometimes improvements are noticed immediately, more usually over a few days. Often, initial improvements show as an overall sense of well-being, with changes to the main complaint following. A condition that has been present for a long time may take longer to improve.