Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which originated in China over 5000 years ago. This science and art of healing has become widely accepted in the western world over the past three decades.
It has now been established as a profession in Australia and has been proved safe and effective.
Healthwise - Acupuncture
Acupuncture has the following major benefits;
drug-free pain relief
assists prevention of disease
treats the cause as well as symptoms
is an holistic approach to health, linking body, mind and emotions
How does Acupuncture work?
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is essential for the body’s energy, as well as the blood, to circulate in a continuous and unobstructed manner. The pathways through which the energy flows are called meridians, and these circulate through the organs and tissues of the body. If the energy is blocked or deficient, pain or illness will occur.
The energy which flows along the meridians is called Qi or Chi. There are over 500 acupuncture points which are located along the energy meridians. By stimulating these points with very fine needles, the quality and quantity of energy can be harmonised.
The acupuncture points are tiny areas of skin that possess reduced skin surface tension and increased conductivity compared to surrounding skin. Acupuncture produces anti-inflammatory properties by stimulating the release of cortisol.
Acupuncture has also been shown to work on the pain centre of the brain itself through yet to be understood mechanisms.
No belief is required in acupuncture for it to work; otherwise it would not work on animals. The placebo effect is a factor in any type of health therapy; however Acupuncture has been shown to work on many conditions through respected studies using placebo controls. Acupuncture is not a religion, it will work on you whatever your belief system.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is completely safe. All the needles used are sterilised and disposable. Acupuncturists must comply with a strict code of ethics and safety. Also the absence of drugs eliminates the risks associated with side effects. This ensures a low risk of injury and complication.
Acupuncture does not inject substances into the body as is the case with hypodermic injections, so there can be no allergic reactions to it.
Do the needles hurt?
Generally speaking, the needles do not hurt. In fact, many patients report an increased feeling of well-being and relaxation.
What can Acupuncture treat?
The Word Health Organisation (1979) has listed a range of disorders that have been successfully treated with acupuncture:
Shoulder and neck pain
Lower back pain
High/low blood pressure
Addictions such as smoking
An important part of Traditional Acupuncture includes advice on what has caused your health condition, what you can expect from a course of treatment and what you can do to help yourself get better and stay that way. Learning is an important part of healing. Acupuncture practised the traditional way (in accordance with TCM philosophy) works better than acupuncture performed as symptomatic pain relief. The best acupuncture is performed by practitioners who specialise in it, rather than practitioners using it simply as a sideline to their chosen profession.
Acupuncture along with Chinese Herbal Medicine, Tai Chi, Chi gong and Chinese massage comprise Traditional Chinese Medicine, but more than this it is safe to use in conjunction with practically any other type of therapy whether Eastern or Western.