Traditional acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare based on ancient principles which date back over 2000 years, coinciding with a growing body of evidence-based research. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) based on the meridian system and the balance and flow of energy known as qi.
Acupuncture aims to restore the body’s equilibrium by stimulating specific points, known as acupoints, by inserting thin needles into these points to affect the flow of qi, or vital energy – triggering the body’s natural healing response. hello
As a result of acupuncture’s long and rich history, acupuncturists have developed and refined the use of subtle diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. Like other forms of natural medicine, the focus is on the whole person, and the root cause of a problem, rather than just the illness. All symptoms are viewed in relation to each other. Therefore, two people with the same western medical diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncturists believe that the underpinning principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body’s flow of qi is disturbed, disrupting equilibrium. There can be many reasons for this, such as emotional and physical stress, poor diet and lifestyle, and injury or infection.
How does acupuncture work?
Energy flows in paired meridian lines mapping the whole body, like the circuit board of a house. These ‘pathways’ on the left and right sides of the body deliver qi to the organs. When an organ is diseased, or illness is present, the paired meridians can no longer deliver balanced qi between both sides of the body. This disruption of qi, or flow of energy, results in pain and illness.
Subtle changes in the meridian system can be measured through the acupoints to detect the presence of illness. Treatment then involves the painless insertion of very fine sterile needles into strategic points to help regulate the body’s qi.
When the fine needles are inserted into these points, blood flow is increased, and the nervous system is directly influenced resulting in the release of the body’s natural painkillers such as endorphins.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
A growing body of research is discovering how the body responds to acupuncture and its benefits for a wide range of common health complaints. Acupuncture is commonly used to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Other people choose acupuncture when they can feel their bodily functions are out of balance, but they have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.
What conditions is acupuncture used for?
In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed several health conditions in which acupuncture has been proven effective for. These include:
- high and low blood pressure
- chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea
- some gastric conditions, such as peptic ulcer
- painful menstrual periods
- allergic rhinitis
- facial pain
- morning sickness
- rheumatoid arthritis
- tennis elbow
- dental pain
- reducing the risk of stroke
- inducing labor
What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?
|Acupuncturist – Chinese Medicine||Dry Needling|
|Minimum 4 Year Bachelor Degree||48 -72 hour course|
|Registered practitioners||None registered|
|Holistic – balance of body, mind and spirit||Puncture painful muscle areas|
|Mandatory continuing professional development for registration||No continuing professional development as non registered|
|Strict infection control standards||Unknown standards|
|Professional indemnity insurance for acupuncture is mandatory||Some practitioners may not be covered for acupuncture or dry needling|