msafi ri HABARIINSPIRATION A SHORT HISTORY Quinton says: " An acupuncture session completely focuses on the patient and hears what they experience. It involves one- to-one time in order to understand them as an individual with their treatment plan specifi cally tailor- made. This, in combination with the needling to lift mood and give much needed relief, can be very powerful." Diabetes is another condition increasingly now being treated with acupuncture, which it is thought helps diagnose and manage the condition. Traditionally in China, fertility problems have also been successfully treated with acupuncture; an approach the rest of the world is now copying, although after recent studies there is some debate as to how effective this is. As more research is commissioned, the debate will continue to run on a worldwide scale. On a more generalised level, the practice has found to be effective in managing pain; almost a sixth of people using acupuncture suffer from back pain, according to 2002 fi gures. FURTHER INFORMATION ? BRITISH ACUPUNCTURE COUNCIL www. acupuncture. org. uk ? NATIONAL ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE MEDICINE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA www. nacmasa. co. za ? THE ACUPUNCTURE HANDBOOK: HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU by Angela Hicks ( Piatkus Books) ? ACUPUNCTURE FOR BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT Peter Mole ( Spring Hill) DEVELOPMENT & CURE According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependent on a healthy fl ow of energy, or Chi, around the body, moving through a series of meridians beneath the skin. The fl ow of Chi can be disrupted by many factors, including stress, anger, fear, poor nutrition or infections. The theory is that by inserting fi ne needles into the body's meridian points, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response, restoring its balance and health. Acupuncture is used to re- balance mind as much as treat the body; The World Health Organisation ( WHO) lists the practice as a recognised treatment for depression, and a recent survey revealed that those suffering from anxiety and insomnia are also turning to acupuncture. Neil Quinton, acupuncturist and British Acupuncture Council member, says acupuncture can have strong benefi ts – and is used as either a stand- alone therapy, or in combination with anti- depressants and psychotherapy. F or thousands of years, the Chinese have used acupuncture to treat a host of physical and emotional disorders, with the aim of restoring health by balancing the body's fl ow of energy. Rooted in the Daoist philosophy of change and balance, acupuncture is one of the world's oldest holistic treatments, and variations are practised all over the world, but especially in Tibet, Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Acupuncture refers to a technique of inserting fi ne needles into specifi c points of the body to relieve pain and help certain conditions. The practice is based on Chinese meridian theory – the idea being that needles are inserted into energy points in the body, also referred to as meridians. The fi rst medical account of the practice dates from around 300BC. Today, despite a lack of conclusive scientifi c backing, it is used extensively in China and the rest of the world as both a preventative and curative method to disease and imbalance. 45 ACUPUNCTURE Lucia Cockcroft gets to the point with our concise guide to an ancient holistic treatment BEGINNERS'GUIDE TO... ACUPUNCTURE has been used in the Far East to maintain and restore good health for almost 3,000 years. The fi rst needles were made from stone; then later from bronze, silver and gold. The practice has been developed by masters such as famous Chinese herbalist Li Shi Zen during the Ming dynasty of 1368- 1644. The practice enjoyed a resurgence of interest in China after the establishment of the People's Republic in 1949, and was given a boost by the Cultural Revolution of the ' 60s and ' 70s. Western interest in acupuncture has grown and it is now used to treat infertility, diabetes, stress and depression.