Acupuncture is the 2000-year-old practice of inserting small hair like needles into pressure points located all over the body. The aim being to stimulate the natural functioning of the body. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, acupuncture is used to encourage the flow of energy or ‘Qi’ around the body. Qi isn’t magic, it’s not like the force, it’s a theory. It follows very simple principles. The body has a continuous loop of energy, split into 12 channels (meridians) that connect to one another. When you have an injury, it causes pain and disrupts the flow. The treatment is to needle specific points along the channels, with the hope that by stimulating the energy in the affected area, you can unblock the meridian and reduce the pain. These meridians also feed the organs, so by needling specific points depending on the issue, you can affect the internal organs and improve their functions. While there is no specific explanation about how acupuncture works, there are a few documented theories;
  • Affects pain centers in the brain and our perception of pain
  • Increases production of the body’s natural painkillers
  • Helps to trigger the immune system and our natural defence mechanisms to boost immunity
  • Affects the central nervous system, encouraging the body to switch from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘rest and digest’, and promoting relaxation and hormonal balance
For a list of conditions and an overview of the scientific research please visit: evidence/ Emma has a particular interest in supporting natural fertility, women’s health, and the treatment of sports injuries.

Fertility Acupuncture

There are a number of theories explaining how acupuncture may help support your natural fertility, particularly if you have ‘unexplained infertility’, PCOS, ovarian cysts, or a hormonal imbalance:
  • Regulates Hormones – Promotes the release of beta-endorphin which acts on the brain to release gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH); this affects the release of follicle-stimulation hormone (FSH), oestrogen, progesterone and luteinising hormone (LH), and therefore, ovulation
  • Increases Blood Flow – Acupuncture promotes the para-sympathetic system, which increases blood flow through vasodilation. Local acupuncture points are used which correspond to the sympathetic innervation of the ovaries, stimulation of which can cause an increase in blood flow. This provides more nourishment to the ovaries and uterus to create a hospitable environment for healthy follicle development and embryo implantation
  • Reduces Stress – Acupuncture promotes the ‘rest and digest’ mode (reduces sympathetic nerve activity). High stress levels are associated with adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol which can suppress ovulation, reduce sperm count, and lower libido
Acupuncture is also becoming increasingly popular with couples undergoing conventional fertility treatments such as IVF, to support their health and well-being during this stressful time.

Sports Acupuncture

Muscular-skeletal injuries may respond well to acupuncture treatment, and reduce the need for painkillers. Acupuncture may increase blood circulation, the production of immune cells, both of which are essential for healing. Not to mention the increased production of our natural painkillers. Common sports injuries include tennis elbow, golfers’ elbow, lower back pain, and frozen shoulder. Other services provided at Zenchi that are particularly helpful in treating sports injuries are cupping therapy and Chinese massage, which both work to loosen muscles and fascia surrounding injuries, reducing pain and tension, increasing mobility, and promoting good circulation.

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