Acupuncture

Acupuncture originated in China more than 2000 years ago. Acupuncturists use very fine, single-use, medical-grade stainless steel needles to stimulate anatomical points, which may be accompanied by manual manipulation, heat or electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture treatment is all about achieving harmony and the normal flow of “qi” (or energy) in the body, by stimulating acupuncture points and their related meridians to activate and enhance the body’s own self-healing power. At the core of the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a unique and wider view of holism: the human body as one organic part of the surrounding universe, connected with nature. By balancing the human body’s distinct yet interdependent functions, practitioners aim to eliminate disease and promote best possible health.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is fast becoming recognised internationally as a discipline that is growing in its scientific evidence-base and can effectively complement conventional medicine treatments. In 2013 Traditional Chinese Medicine was incorporated into AHPRA, the national body that regulates and standardises mainstream health practitioners in Australia

You can expect a visit to an acupuncturist to involve the use of four diagnostic methods to evaluate your presenting condition: observing/inspecting (e.g. the condition of your body in general and/or your tongue); listening & smelling (e.g. abnormal breathing and/or odours); inquiring (e.g. medical history and/or observable symptoms); and palpation (e.g. of specific body parts and/or your pulse). Acupuncture treatment involves the use of fine, sterile, single-use, medical-grade stainless steel needles which are inserted through the skin at specific points (i.e. “acupuncture points”) which run along the body’s meridians. According to Chinese medicine philosophy, meridians are a set of pathways in the body along which qi/energy flows.

The depth and angle of insertion of the acupuncture needle varies, depending upon factors such as the location of the point and the particular focus of the treatment. Treatment aims to restore the optimal flow of qi, that has been disrupted with illness-causing blockages and imbalance.

A typical acupuncture treatment may also include the use of needle-free laser acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, gently heating areas of the body using the herb moxa (i.e. the pressed “wool” of the mugwort plant), cupping, gua sha (i.e. light “scraping” with the back of a dedicated instrument for that purpose), Chinese exercises, Chinese herbal prescriptions, and dietary & lifestyle advice.

You might visit an acupuncturist for pain and musculoskeletal related conditions, circulatory disorders, gastrointestinal complaints, stress, insomnia, menopause, fatigue, allergies, anxiety, depression, arthritis or quitting addiction to smoking.

Some common conditions that may benefit from acupuncture treatment are listed in the table below:

Condition Application
Pain International clinical guidelines describe acupuncture as helpful in a wide range of conditions, and particularly those involving pain. Acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of tension-type and chronic headaches, in reducing the frequency of migraines, ameliorating post-operative pain, assisting cancer induced pain, and controlling pain perception thresholds.
Musculoskeletal conditions Acupuncture can reduce pain and inflammation, and promote healing in a range of musculoskeletal conditions. When coupled with Chinese Medical Massage or Tui Na and other physical tools that we employ in our clinics, our student acupuncturists are able to help with many strains and pain issues in our clients. Many sports people use acupuncture on a regular basis to speed healing and recovery from injury or operations. Conditions where acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness include both chronic and acute back pain (including during pregnancy), joint pain (including the shoulder, knee, neck, elbow, and temporomandibular joint, plantar heel pain, and sciatica).
Hay fever and Allergies Acupuncture can assist with the debilitating symptoms of hay fever and allergies that come with the rising pollen count in Spring. Seasonal allergy sufferers can come in at the start of the season for regular symptomatic relief. Treatments are designed to reduce the severity of symptoms and can be adjusted for unique symptoms as they arise throughout the season. The use of immune enhancing and allergy symptom herbal formulas may enhance these treatment outcomes. Acupuncture has also demonstrated its use in reducing the symptoms of asthma.
Weight loss and Digestive health Chinese Medicine is steeped in thousands of years of dietary and lifestyle advice that are used together with acupuncture and Tui Na massage to help a patient with these issues in a time honoured methodical way to lose weight, exercise and eat well. Acupuncture can also assist in the digestive symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
Stress and Fatigue Chinese Medicine treats the mind, body and spirit in the areas of exhaustion, fatigue and stress. In our modern 21st Century lives, these are foundational challenges that are endemic in western culture. Acupuncture has been shown to increase the levels in the body of feel good, restorative chemicals that work to reduce stress and address fatigue. With regular acupuncture, the use of some herbal formulas and the use of dietary and lifestyle advice over time patients report increased energy and more restful sleep. Acupuncture is a very good adjunct to reducing the effects of stress and regaining vitality. Acupuncture has also demonstrated its assistance in the treatment of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
Smoking Cessation The four-treatment “NADA protocol” has been used successfully in thousands of treatment facilities, hospitals and prisons worldwide to help quit smoking and more general addiction. Since it was first used at the Lincoln Hospital, New York in the 1970s by Dr Michael Smith, the treatment protocol works to ease and inhibit the addiction cravings. By reducing the addiction cravings, clients can more successfully make the transition to a healthier lifestyle. At Wellnation Clinics our senior students are trained in the implementation of this simple, restful protocol.
Stroke and Cardiovascular conditions Chinese medicine has long been used in the support of a range of cardiovascular conditions. Contemporary scientific research has demonstrated acupuncture to be of value in the management of high blood pressure, and post-stroke rehabilitation including the symptoms of spasticity, pain and sleeplessness.

Further information regarding acupuncture can be found at the following websites:

https://www.acupuncture.org.au/acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine/acupuncture/
https://www.acupuncture.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/28-NOV-Acupuncture-Evidence_plain-English-Web-version_Reissued_28_Nov.pdf
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/acupuncture
http://www.chinesemedicineboard.gov.au/
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/acupuncture
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Acupuncture/
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