172 million days are lost each year in the UK to sickness, costing the economy over £13 billion*. Minor ailments such as colds and flu are the most common causes of short-term absence followed closely by musculo-skeletal problems such as back pain.
One answer to reducing sickness levels is to improve general wellbeing. A quarterly seasonal tune up with an acupuncturist can help improve overall health by enhancing the body's immune system to keep illness at bay. A seasonal tune up can also provide a boost in energy levels, lifting mood and improving a person's sense of wellbeing.
The changes in seasons place additional demands on our bodies. In particular we are more vulnerable physically and mentally as each of the seasons change and therefore more likely to get sick or depressed. Traditional Chinese medicine recognises this and uses acupuncture to smooth the transition. At certain periods of the year, the body can have difficulty adapting to change and can tire or deplete easily, leaving it more vulnerable to disease.
Just as in nature, spring is a time for our bodies to grow and rejuvenate after winter. It's a great time to become more active, learn a new skill and generally make the most of life. However, the transition from the short days and cold temperatures of winter to the lighter evenings and warmth of spring can leave many people feeling out of sorts.
A seasonal tune up in spring can help your mind and body to 'wake-up', easing the transition into spring. It will also replenish the body's motivating energy, known as qi , improving ability to deal with stress, boosting energy levels and helping the body to ward off illness and allow the body to function more effectively.
A seasonal tune up works in much the same way as getting your car serviced â€“motorists are advised to regularly check the oil and water levels, give the tyres a once over and top up the antifreeze in order to keep their cars running efficiently. Your body and mind can also benefit from a quick tune up to help you look and feel your best.
Acupuncture aims to improve overall wellbeing by identifying and treating the root cause of any problem, rather than specific symptoms. Addressing imbalances in the body will help return qi to an optimum level, improving overall wellbeing of the mind and body and preventing further illness.
Acupuncturists look at the whole person so may also provide dietary and lifestyle advice alongside an acupuncture treatment.
Treatments are tailored to an individual so will vary from person to person. If you have not had acupuncture before, the acupuncturist will apply a number of different diagnostic processes to get a better picture of your overall health. This includes taking a full medical history, reading your pulses or looking at your tongue.
From this, the practitioner will be able to form a diagnosis and treat the source of any underlying problems. By inserting fine needles into the channels of qi energy an acupuncturist can clear any blockages that are impeding the flow of energy, stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural equilibrium.
To find a practitioner in your area call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit www.acupuncture.org.uk
*CBI Absence & Labour turnover
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