About Acupuncture West London
Acupuncture West London is located within The New Southfields Clinic in the heart of Southfields, South West London. We also serve the following areas: Balham, Clapham, Earlsfield, Fulham, Putney, Roehampton, Tooting Bec, Wandsworth and Wimbledon. The clinic is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 7am and 7pm, and on Saturdays from 8am to 4pm.
About Ben Carrigan | BSc (Hons) Lic. Ac. AFN FEA MBAcC
Five Element Acupuncture
Five-element acupuncture is rooted in the concepts of Chinese philosophy and concerns the movement of energy, as observed in nature. Corresponding to the view that humankind is a microcosm of his environment, five-element theory serves as the following:
- a valuable insight into the natural transformations within nature, and
- a tool for balancing these energies within the human body.
Classical Chinese Acupuncture (Stems & Branches)
Everyone has an energetic astrological footprint created at the moment of their birth. This footprint can provide deep insights into an individual’s constitutional strengths and weaknesses, as well as their emotional and mental tendencies. Within Chinese philosophy and astrology, the four pillars or BaZi provide insight into this information – i.e. the ‘stem and branch’ of the hour, day, month and year of one’s birth.
According to the principles of Wū Yùn Lìu Qì (stems and branches theory), humankind, as with nature, is affected by the movements and cycles of life. Through the practice of Wū Yùn Lìu Qì, the practitioner works to utilise the power of these energies to improve and maintain good health. The systems that govern this practice provide deep insights into the constitutional strengths and weaknesses of an individual and may serve as a guide to identifying the root of their illness(es). This knowledge can be used by the practitioner to formulate an effective treatment plan and to resolve their health problems in line with these constitutional strengths and weaknesses.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
The term ‘Traditional Chinese Medicine’ or TCM can be misleading. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is primarily a modern invention. In 1950s communist China, Chairman Mao and his medical authorities proposed a reductionist form of Chinese medicine and acupuncture with the following objectives:
- to get people back to work quickly following illness,
- to align Chinese medicine with Western medicine, and
- to gain credibility in the West through the removal of much of its philosophical content.
The most fundamental difference between classical Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is that the former draws more deeply from the classical literature of Chinese medicine in practice.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), while paying homage to the classic texts, does not rely primarily on these sources in practice. TCM’s approach to treatment relies on pattern diagnosis, which can be applied more generally in a clinical setting. It is important to note that TCM is not necessarily less effective than classical Chinese medicine. However, it arguably focusses less on a patient’s underlying constitution and more on treating symptomatically.
Contemporary acupuncture refers to any form of acupuncture that is not rooted in the classical literature. Examples may include but are not limited to the following:
- Acupuncture for Fertility (eg. Paulus Protocol)
- Acupuncture for Addiction (eg. NADA Protocol)
- Other protocols based within the western research model
At Acupuncture West London, we also offer the following traditional therapies as part of any acupuncture treatment when it is appropriate to do so and at no extra cost:
Ben is a fully certified member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) and the Acupuncture Fertility Network (AFN). He is also a member of the BAcC’s Student Services Advisory Group (SSAG). The SSAG provides advice and support to the Governing Board and BAcC staff on all matters relating to students at British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB) accredited courses in the UK. Most recently, Ben has joined the faculty at the International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM).
“I have a strong appreciation of the arts and philosophy. However, I am also incredibly practical and motivated by evidence and facts; in other words, I question everything. My work as an acupuncturist is the perfect meeting of these minds. I am in awe of the Chinese medicine philosophy, but do sometimes question a language that often sounds ethereal and does not easily fit the western research model. In contrast, however, I watch it work every day in clinic, and this is incredibly humbling. I feel that my job offers me a keyhole view to the inner working cogs of the human body—one that is always contextual and relevant to the individual. It is an incredible privilege to be in this position and to be able to help people as a result.”
Ben Carrigan BSc (Hons), Lic. Ac., AFN, FEA, MBAcC