Most of us have heard of acupuncture to cure physical ailments, but now there's a new piercing remedy on the hole-istic block.
Brad Fennell, acupuncturist and facilitator at Studio Qi says: "Of all the traditional treatment systems available in Australia, acupuncture is by far the most respected, achieving widespread acceptance as an effective form of health care." Acupuncture is a technique of inserting fine needles into specific points all over the body for therapeutic purposes. According to traditional Chinese theory, the acupuncture points lie on "meridians", lines along which "qi", your vital energy, flows.
But now, acupuncture is being taken to a whole new level. A facilitator as well as an acupuncturist, Brad is in a position to help people understand their objectives in life and assist them in reaching them without taking a particular position in the discussion. Basically, he helps them achieve or realise something without dictating it to them. "Acufacilitation is a new, unique approach to healthcare that combines acupuncture theory and techniques with traditional and modern facilitation systems," Brad says.
But does it really work? Health became acu-sors for a day to find out.
Acufacilitation involves a discussion similar to a counselling session to deal with the emotional side of any issues you might have, while the facilitator observes you, followed by acupuncture to help the physical sides to your problems. Brad says: "Observing and following the body's subtle signals allows us to unfold and counsel, creating change and new awareness to difficult issues."
Upon arrival, I fill out a medical history form and have a quick chat to Brad, so he can ensure that he finds an acupuncture treatment that specifically matches and treats my individual health complaint. As I've been suffering from dermatitis and sleeping problems recently, he decides to get to the bottom of this. Initially, I feel like I'm being grilled as he asks me about why I might be feeling stressed. After only about 10 minutes, he makes it clear to me that my issues are stress-related. He's also managed to get to the bottom of why I might be stressed I find myself telling him things I haven't told anyone and it feels great to be getting certain feelings off my chest.
Brad mentions how everything in life is ruled by polarities and talks about Yin and Yang, then makes me examine the polarities within myself, making me separate myself into two parts (the stressed half and the relaxed half) and makes "Chilled Me" shout things at "Uptight Me". This is something I'd usually cringe at but afterwards, I slump in my chair and feel more relaxed than I have in days.
Next comes the acupuncture part of the session. Brad examines my pressure points, abdomen and pulse, during which he makes a quick observation that I need to look after my liver and digestive system a bit more. Then it's time for the needles 11 to be exact, all over my body. He takes only a minute to put them all in and I don't feel any of them so there's no need to be scared of acupuncture if you're a needle-phobe.
Then he leaves me alone for 20 minutes, during which time I drift in and out of sleep. When he returns, I ask him why I can feel a throbbing in my left hand but nowhere else and he tells me that's my key relaxation point, so as my body unwinds, I get a strange sensation there. Spooky as it might be, Brad's hit the nail on the head (or the needle on the point).
Straight after the treatment, I feel like I'm viewing the world through a shroud everything is hazy and I feel deeply relaxed. About an hour later, although I'm much more "back to normal", I still feel totally relaxed. What I notice most is that my hands sit limply in my lap rather than me twitching and playing with them all the time. That night, I have a blissful night's sleep and the whole of the next day, I still feel relaxed despite being busy at work. The relaxation effects don't last much longer than four days, but my dermatitis still hasn't reappeared, showing how stress and certain physical conditions are closely linked.
Acupuncture and infertility
We give it a daring 8/10! We think that acufacilitation is something that, if you can give it commitment and attend regular sessions, could alter your life significantly and help you realise that the emotional and physical aspects of your life go hand in hand. You may not enjoy the probing questions and you may scoff at the slightly "hippie" approach to opening up your mind, but it actually works. And it's uber-relaxing too.
All sorts of acupuncture patients walk through Brad's door, from those with addictions to those with back problems, those suffering from stress to those with bloating. But the bulk of his patients have fertility problems, as acupuncture is believed to boost fertility so much that doctors are even referring patients to have it in conjunction of IVF. Brad's results are astounding, as many couples have conceived after having acupuncture at his clinic. .
Brad Fennell practises at Studio Qi in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. Check out the website on www.studioqi.net