From East to West – Osteopathy and Acupuncture

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With the recent surge of interest in Eastern healing solutions to illnesses, it often seems like the east and western medicinal practices are at odds with each other. This is not always the case. Now more and more osteopaths are recommending that clients do both: a combination of Western osteopathy and Eastern acupuncture.

Acupuncture is holistic approach to health that has its origins in China, having been refined and developed evolved over 2000 years. It is based on the philosophy that our health relies on the free flow of our bodys energy " known as Qi " through a system of channels that lie beneath our skin. The pathways are all connected to the bodys vital organs, so if the flow of Qi is upset in some way (either by physical illness or emotional disturbances), the health and harmony of our body comes out of balance.

The way acupuncture works is that very small needles are placed into certain pressure points in our bodies which exist along the energy pathways underneath our skin. This is aimed to disperse the built-up tensions and stimulate the flow of Qi, tapping into the body's own healing response which helps restore its natural balance.

But what does acupuncture have to do with osteopathy? The two actually have very similar philosophies. Both believe that a problem can only be solved if you eliminate the source of the illness, rather than merely treating its symptoms. They see the body and mind as being interconnected, which is why osteopaths often recommend acupuncture in combination with osteopathic treatments.

While acupuncture can be seen as merely a means of relieving pain, it helps heal specific problems and diseases. Below are some of the problems and conditions that acupuncture can help with:

- High blood pressure and circulatory problems

- Cranial complaints, as well as headaches and migraines

- Respiratory problems, including asthma, breathlessness, and various others.

- Musculo-skeletal complaints, helping alleviate pain in the muscles and joints. Deals with many osteopathic problems such as sciatica, frozen shoulder, arthritis, and stiffness in the knees and neck.

- Allergies

- Insomnia or aiding relaxation

Many patients also note that acupuncture also gives them a general sense of wellbeing " improving their energy levels, vitality, and overall health.

But there are also those who cast acupuncture wary glances because they think it looks painful. Needles?! Therapists are quick to reassure their clients that these not the same ones they use at the doctors office for injections. They are a lot thinner and do not penetrate the body in the same ways other needles do. While everyone responds to pain differently, many do not find the procedure painful at all.

Not everyone is convinced that practices such as acupuncture work better than painkillers or sleeping pills. Others are adamant that natural healing processes are the only option. There does not always need to be a choice. If you have suffered from chronic pain or feel constantly overwhelmed by stress, combining East and West may be your best option to feeling healthier, refreshed, and more energetic.

About the author:

Andrew Mitchell, editor of the Osteopath Network, writes articles about osteopathy, osteopaths, London osteopaths , back pain, neck pain, injury management. Andrew is interested in many aspects of alternative medicine.

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