As acupuncture seeks to restore balance to the individual, and bring them more into harmony with their surroundings, the same as can be done for one can be done for two.
Frequently in relationships, patterns of disharmony will form, and we will play roles which best fit our character; one of us is more likely to be the initiator, the other more likely the follower. One the aggressor, for example, the other the victim. Well why do we choose these roles? In Chinese theory, the emotions are inseparable from physicality, so the way we react to things is as much a part of our health structure as the physical habits we perpetuate, or the environmental factors to which we are exposed. In fact, a relationship is a mutual environmental factor.
Further, if we try to treat one person but not the other, old patterns are much more likely to return, more quickly, in much the same way as if you keep going outside in the winter rain in summer clothes, you’re likely to keep falling ill, no matter how quickly you recovered the time before. The norms of our partner quickly bring us back to our previous normal state. With tandem treatment, we can treat the emotional disharmony between two in much the same way as we treat the emotional disharmony in one, again in the same way as we might treat indigestion or headaches of another individual. Couples acupuncture is equally pertinent to physical health as well as emotional, as many physiological illnesses will have a ‘counterpart’ symptom set.
It is from these angles that I approach treating couples, whether as an adjunct to (not a replacement for) relationship therapy or just to help ease tensions and allow the old flame to rekindle itself and facilitate responsible, safe, communicative and loving relationships.