Gentle acupuncture at our practice

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest holistic therapeutic practices in the world with 3,000 years history.

Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific points in the body to restore balance and encourage the body to heal itself.

There are over 400 acupuncture points on the body and each has a specific action. The stimulation is achieved by inserting sterile, single use, very thin needles into these acupuncture points.

Acupuncture is drug-free, chemical dependency-free and generally considered to be safe but occasionally as with all health treatments, may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases.

What can acupuncture help with?

Acupuncture and herbs are an integral part of Chinese medicine practice. Many health practitioners may recommend acupuncture as an adjunct treatment to assist managing:

  • Pain, stress and fatigue related to autoimmune disorders (in consultation with other treating health practitioners)
  • Pain, fatigue and nausea related to many chronic diseases
  • Vomiting or nausea arising from chemotherapy
  • Chronic pain related to depression by managing the underlying chronic pain.
  • Pregnancy related aches and pains
  • Nausea, vomiting, morning sickness

There is ongoing research on effectiveness and safety of acupuncture treatment for many different disorders, such as:

  •  Pain
    • Migraines and headache
    • Back, neck and shoulder pain
    • Sciatica
    • Knee Pain
    • Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
    • Neuralgia (nerve pain)
    • Facial pain
  • Gynecological problems
  • Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting
  • Stress and depression
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Childhood illnesses
  • Arthritis
  • Disorders of the eyes, nose and throat

The British National Health Service found out that acupuncture is effective to relieve the nausea and the side effects of chemotherapy and aid recovery after surgery.

The idea of Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, is to encourage the body’s own healing ability and many conditions can benefit from it.

How does Chinese medicine work?

Chinese medicine is a holistic health care system and views the body as an integrated whole. Everything is interconnected in the body and imbalance arisen from one part affects the other parts. This is why the Chinese medicine practitioners collect seemingly random information about your health such as digestive functions, energy level, emotional states, sleeping patterns, menstrual patterns, vision and hearing, and medical and family history.

The set of collected information is used to differentiate symptom into patterns which allows the Chinese medicine practitioners to make individualised treatment plan. We carefully assess the state of your health and identify minor imbalance in your body, enabling us to identify the minor misalignment before it proceeds to more serious level, or before the medical diagnosis is made.

How does Acupuncture work?

There are some scientific evidence as in how acupuncture works.

Firstly acupuncture is thought to trigger the release of endorphins, natural painkillers.

Secondly acupuncture is thought to work through the “gate control theory of pain, proposed by Patrick Wall and Ronald Melzack in 1960s. This theory derives from the idea that spinal cord contains a neural gate that open and close to reduce or enhance pain messages sent to the brain.

Stress and tension open the gates while relaxation distraction and physical activity close the gates.

Is it painful?

At our practice, we use the Japanese style fine needles and many people experience minimal to no pain, and find acupuncture rather relaxing. This is because acupuncture relaxes the sympathetic response.

As a result many people feel refreshed and sleep well after the acupuncture treatment (if not during the actual acupuncture session).

Laws and regulations for acupuncture practice

National registration for the traditional Chinese medicine profession was introduced from 1 July 2012 to ensure the safety and protection of the public. Chinese medicine practitioners including acupuncturists must be registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA) in order to gain permission to practise in their profession. Registered practitioners can be found on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) at https://www.ahpra.gov.au/

Choosing an acupuncturist

Some healthcare practitioners offer acupuncture treatment after completing a short course.

However, the philosophy of Chinese medicine and acupuncture is complex, so you should only use a qualified acupuncturist.

No referral from your doctor is needed to see an acupuncturist.

What to expect

You will sit or lie down depending on the location of the treatment. When the needles are inserted, you may feel mild tingling, warmth or heaviness around the site.

The length and number of treatments you need depends on your condition. In most cases, people experience improvement of symptoms within a few sessions.