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What is Acupuncture?

acunAcupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which originated in China over 3000 years ago. The use of acupuncture is growing around the world, as more and more Western medicine practitioners use TCM in conjunction with their own methodology. In fact many western doctors have recognised the efficacy of acupuncture especially for pain relief. Acupuncture takes on a holistic approach to understanding disease, illness and other conditions and focuses on prevention of such. It looks at the underlying conditions or root cause, not only just the presenting signs and symptoms but other health problems and the general state of health and well-being for the prevention of illness.

How does it work?

There have been many western theories of how acupuncture works from the idea that points are located at nerve endings thereby releasing neuro-transmitters, endorphins etc. But these theories fail to take into account that many points are not on nerve endings and shallow needling as practiced in Japan and by practitioners in our clinic, is just as effective. Why? To understand this we need to under the concept of Qi (universal energy). Qi flows through all things and through our bodies at all levels but is more highly accessible in corridors called meridians. Along these meridians are doorways or points into the flow of Qi. The insertion of fine sterile needles (one use only) acts much like the use of a phone system. A certain point once stimulated “phones” the maintenance crew of the body to act on a certain area of the body. And just like a lot of maintenance crews they need to be stimulated several times to get the job complete. Also there is the factor of the “boss” upstairs not doing the right thing by the body by eating overly rich foods, excess alcohol consumption, insufficient rest etc; sending the body’s maintenance crew into a frenzy of activity to repair the damage caused by the “boss” instead of just routine maintenance.

“The Qi moves the blood and the blood creates the qi”

Acupuncture is based on Ancient Chinese theory of energy (qi) and Blood (xue) flow through the meridians or pathways that are located all over the body. The insertion of fine sterile needles gently stimulates the qi. This will restore the healthy flow of qi and assist the body to heal itself.

How can acupuncture help you?

Acupuncture is effective in the treatment of a wide range of common and not so common health conditions, such as:

Musculoskeletal:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sports Injuries
  • Back and Neck pain
  • “Tennis elbow”
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Bells’ Palsy
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Stiff neck and back

Addictions:

  • Smoking
  • Drug withdrawals
  • Food

Womens’ health:

  • Period pain
  • Infertility
  • Labour Induction
  • Menopause
  • Thrush
  • Morning sickness
  • Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • During and After pregnancy care

Men’s healt:

  • Prostate
  • Hair loss
  • Low libido
  • Impotence
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Male Infertility

Other conditions/disorders (common and uncommon):

  • Common cold
  • Influenza viruses
  • Coughs
  • Allergies and immunities
  • Gout
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Glandular Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headache and migraine
  • Gastrointestinal disorders – Constipation, diarrhoea, Irritable bowel Syndrome
  • Paediatric conditions –  colds and flu, colic, sleeplessness, nightmares.

Do acupuncture treatments hurt?

No pain should be felt when undergoing an acupuncture treatment, although every person experiences things differently. In general, people will experience a free flow of energy, which can manifest as itchiness or a tingling sensation around the needles and travelling up and down the body. If the patient has acute pain in one part of the body, a quick ‘twang’ may be felt on insertion of the needle in this place. If the patient has a fear of needles, there are other options available.

Using Laser instead of needles

Laser is used for babies, young children, or adult clients – anyone who may be sensitive or have a phobia of needles. The laser is used instead of needles in the same way – looking like a pen with a laser at the tip. The laser moves the qi the same way as a needle, thus having the same desired effect. This process is considered to be painless.

What is involved in an acupuncture treatment?

The first consultation usually takes a full hour. In that time, the practitioner will ask the patient questions, examine the tongue and “read” the pulse to make a diagnosis. Any questions you may have at this time regarding the treatment will also be answered at this time. The treatment may include as well as acupuncture, cupping, gu sha, moxa and massage depending on what the practitioner believes will benefit your condition.
The practitioner will inform the patient of how many visits he or she needs, and make another appointment for them. For acute problems, a recommended average of 6 visits (weekly to fortnightly), although this will change from person to person. The best treatment is prevention, so clients are encouraged to come on a semi-regular basis, not just when acute problems occur.