Acupuncture: Is it for you?
We meet Robin Croley from Chesterfield Acupuncture Clinic.
Robin Croley offers acupuncture from his treatment room in Holywell House Annex on Holywell Street where I met up to understand more about the therapy and how it can help. Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world.
Acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for thousands of years. the focus is on you as an individual and not just your illness, and all symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of your body’s qi, or vital energy. *British Acupuncture Council
“I’ve always been interested in health and Eastern philosophy, tai chi etc. ” explains Robin, “and when, in my 20s, my Mum’s tennis elbow was treated with acupuncture, that really sparked my interest.”
“Acupuncture seemed to fit with my interests and beliefs, so I researched courses and found a college in Leamington Spa that offered an authentic course rooted in the Classical Chinese theories, that was almost 25 years ago.”
Robin now practices Five Element Acupuncture which, together with the theory of Yin-Yang, forms the basis of Traditional Chinese medicine theory, diagnosis and treatment. The five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water show how our internal organs, systems and structures are categorised and connected.
In practice the five elements Robin applies are acupuncture, herbs, dietary therapy, body work (muscles) and exercise (Tai Chi). The elements consider the whole person, not just physical wellbeing but the mental and emotional wellbeing associated with any symptom, illness or sickness.
“A person arrives with a set of symptoms; I look at the person as a whole and assess their potential for health. Treating them and then ideally keeping them well so they don’t get sick in the first place” outlines Robin.
“Often modern medicine doesn’t look at the complete picture, the body, mind and emotions. We all make choices that become habits. I look at what people do day in day out, things that are not conducive to health, by changing some things, we can see if they make a difference.”
How do you treat people I ask? “There are two main treatments, needles and moxa, dried mugwort, a herb much prized in the East, that is burnt on points on the body. “The two used together, effectively bring warmth to promote blood flow, helping build vitality and vigour.
“The needles are extremely fine, 0.16mm thick with copper handles, conductive, they are used at points in the body, up to a dozen in a treatment. By use in the correct meridian lines they access the interior of the body, they can be used to treat a vast number of symptoms; stomach problems, anxiety, over thinking situations, acupuncture is often used to treat the electrical pathways in the body that can become blocked.
“Many acupuncturists use acupuncture treatments themselves; it’s used to promote a long and healthy life, the ideal is if you live to 90 for instance, you have 90 years of good health and a short final illness.
“People that come to see me tend to be of a certain mindset” explains Robin. “They are open to alternative medicines; they acknowledge that they want to make a change and look after themselves.”
So who should come and why? “I can help treat almost anything, acupuncture can be used alongside western medicine and other alternative therapies.
“It’s important to mention that you don’t need to be ill to come. It’s a great way to relax and relieve the stress of modern life, it might just be a case of a more complete you, it might become just one of the coping mechanisms you employ to enjoy a long and healthy life.”
I enjoyed my chat with Robin, nutrition and exercise are important to me and my family, and although I don’t currently use acupuncture, I can definately see how it would fit alongside our lifestyle.
If you are wondering, just give Robin a call to arrange a chat, his google review reads ‘Without doubt, the ultimate professional’ what more could we possibly add!
Words: Paul Chapman Image: Adobe Stock