Warwickshire’s link to the ancient arts of healing

WHAT started in China thousands of years ago now has a burgeoning presence in the west - and particularly in Leamington.

Acupuncture has deeper roots in the area than you might think, writes Courier reporter Jamie Smith.

It was brought to the town by JR Worsley in the late 20th century, who set up the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture at first in Leamington before moving it out to Hatton.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Worsley specialised in the traditional form of five element acupuncture which focuses on the five elements of wood, earth, fire, metal and water, and it is this that countless students have been trained in at the Hatton college.

However, the college is now due to close and a new clinic has been set up in the Polish Centre in High Street, Leamington, called the Acupuncture Community Clinic.

Not being the biggest fan of needles I approached my treatment with practitioners Janet Eastwood and Sharon Hansford with some trepidation.

However, my fears proved to be largely unfounded when I was told that acupuncture is not just about the needles, and in fact can be done without needles at all.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At first I was talked through what would be happening, and asked not just about any physical problems I may have but also how I was feeling in myself, what sort of things were going on in my life.

For me, sleeping - or lack thereof - has been a long standing problem, to the point where I’ll try anything. The ‘Seven Dragons’ were called from somewhere to help me, and needles were applied to key points around my body. Perhaps most unnerving was one in the top of my head, which didn’t hurt but did feel very strange, which apparently is a good thing.

One thing to note is that at no point, despite my fears, was I in any pain. At worst I felt a slight pinch from the needles - which are very thin and much less scary than hospital ones, but never any pain, which is, as Janet Eastwood explained, where many people’s reservations come from.

“I think the needles do put some people off,” she said. “But we are more than happy for people to come in and have a chat. We can do treatment without needles by pressing on the pressure points. That’s what is so important, everything is interconnected. We can also treat with Moxa.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We look at you within your situation and the season as well because some people are affected by the changing season.”

Moxa is a powder burned on the skin to stimulate circulation and increasing the flow of blood to targeted areas of the body, and is something they use as well as ear seeds which apply pressure to key points in your ears.

“We do five element acupuncture so are carrying on JR Worsley’s lineage. There’s a lot of understanding in the area thanks to him.

“People came from all over the world to train with him. Our first training course starts on March 16.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sharon Hansford added: “It’s treating the emotional and spiritual levels as well as the physical.

“We can use it for mental health problems as well as physical, and can also use it for people who are well and healthy, as a preventative measure. Five element is quite widely practised. In China it was their only treatment until recently.”

I left my treatment feeling very relaxed, and whether it is down to the acupuncture I can’t be sure, but in the four days since I have slept straight through for the first time in months.

For more information on the Acupuncture Community Clinic, which uses a multibed system to keep prices down, call 730284 or click here.