Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a healthcare system based on ancient principals which go back nearly 2000 years. It looks at pain and illness as signs that the body is out of balance. This vital body balance is known as Yin and Yang. Within TCM, Yin and Yang balance is seen as important in the human body as when one part is in dysfunction this can affect the whole person.
Qi is another central pillar of TCM and can be understood as vital energy which is part of every living thing. Traditional Acupuncturists believe that the underlying principal of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's Qi or vital energy can not flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are the most common. This vital energy can be manipulated with the application of Acupuncture to restore balance and trigger the body's healing process. Acupuncture aims to unravel the disharmony within your body, wether it is Yin or Yang in nature. This is achieved by applying acupuncture needles to carefully selected Acupuncture points which have been chosen individually for each person.
Qi Gong, pronounced 'Chi Kung' can be translated as Energy Cultivation or Energy Work. Qi Gong involves combining breath with movement and is practiced alongside Acupuncture. The breath brings the Qi or vital energy into the body and the movement tells the Qi where to go. 
Tuina is Chinese medical massage. Tuina uses the traditional Chinese medical theory of the flow of Qi through the meridians as its basic therapeutic orientation. Through the application of massage and manipulation techniques Tuina seeks to establish a more harmonious flow of Qi. Tuina can be used with Acupuncture by itself and/or with Qui Gong.

Western Acupuncture

Both Mark and Griselda Mason have a post graduate diploma in Western Acupuncture and find it of great benefit in the reduction of pain suffered by many of their patients. They use Acupuncture not only on the muscles and ligaments of the spine but also on the peripheral joints such as the shoulder, knee, elbow and ankle.
What is Western Acupuncture?
Medical or Western Acupuncture can also be known as Dry Trigger Point Needling .
It is a western adaptation of traditional acupuncture.

It is practiced predominantly by doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths & physiotherapists and uses a more select range of acupuncture techniques on the basis of a western medical diagnosis and evidence based research.

It is not one of the various forms of traditional acupuncture and should not be confused as such!

Dry Trigger Point Needling is based on anatomy, physiology and western scientific findings and is often used in conjunction with other therapies as discussed above.

Most medical professionals that practice Dry Trigger Point Needling have a primary qualification in the medical field and have studied it as a post graduate qualification.
How does it work?
Several processes have been proposed to explain Acupuncture effects, primarily those on pain. Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. 

These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, that influence the body's self-regulating systems. There are three main mechanisms:
  1. Conduction of electromagnetic signals: Western scientists have found evidence that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating points along these pathways through acupuncture enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at a greater rate than under normal conditions. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins.
  2. Activation of opioid systems: research has found that several types of opioids may be released into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment,thereby reducing pain.
  3. Changes in brain chemistry sensation, and involuntary body functions: studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones in a good way. Acupuncture also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions.
What Does It Feel Like? 
Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to those used in injections and blood tests. They are much finer and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted, the sensation is often described as a tingling or dull ache. 

Needles are normally left in place for 20 - 30 seconds. During treatment patients commonly experience a slight ache within the muscle tissue. After treatment a pleasant feeling of relaxation can be experienced.