Chinese Medicine describes health from a different angle, using different words to say the same thing as Western medicine. It’s more lyrical, more like singing than speaking.
Chinese Medicine may talk of Digestive Fire. In Western Medicine converting Food into Energy for the Body/Mind is described by “Oxidation”- the addition of Oxygen to molecules, producing a molecular “Fire”.
Chinese Medicine discovered long ago that the body has many pathways and many connections. The major pathways are called Meridians, paths through which energies flow. In fact, some of the pathways are very similar to the arteries, veins, nerves that cross our bodies. Thousands of years of observations have formed a rather large body of knowledge, with a deep understanding of the complex interactions of the Body and Mind.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is stated that when the Body/Mind is in Balance, the Qi – or Life Force- runs freely through the Meridians. There are many types of Qi, and under close observation, correlate well with western terms. For instance Wei Qi has many similar functions to the Immune system.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is the insertion of disposable, ultra-fine needles, into key points on the Meridians of the body. This aims to balance systems which can be impeded, too weak or stagnating.
Does it Hurt?
Acupuncture needles are a lot thinner than medical needles, so they are hardly felt.
Most often people don’t even know when the needle has been inserted, including people with needle phobia. Often it’s the idea more so than the needle. Some points may be more sensitive than others, I always advise if this is the case.
How many sessions are needed?
It depends! Usually the longer or the more chronic the issue is, it may take a bit longer to resolve. Some only need one or two treatments. Very generally speaking 5 treatments is about average. I always ask myself questions in deciding the course of a Treatment Program:
What treatment suits this person best? Do they need Acupuncture only, herbs, or nutritional advice? Do they need to be referred?
Have they been to a GP? (I advise people to go to a GP with urgent or chronic problems first)
Acupuncture can be of great benefit to help regain better Health, as an adjunct to Western Medicine. It is also wonderfully relaxing!
Side Effects and Safety
Acupuncture is on of the safest treatments modalities available, when performed by a professionally recognised practitioner.
Along with the therapeutic benefit, most people find the treatment one of the most relaxing things they have experienced.
Acupuncture is one of the few recognised Complementary therapies, and as such, you can claim treatments partially back from all major insurance companies (depending on your plan, and as long as your Acupuncturist is professionally recognised and registered.)
What can be treated with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture treats much more than just Musculo-Skeletal issues, it can treat the following (recognised by the World Health Organisation):
(However, more conditions can actually be treated- always feel free to enquire!)
(TCM actually offers an even more complete range, these are just the researched conditions)
The World Health Organization in it’s global and independent role has
evaluated the effectiveness of many treatments be they Western or Oriental
In it’s study of approved acupuncture trials carried out over the last 3 decades, “Acupuncture was proven through controlled trials to be an effective treatment” for a wide variety of conditions.
Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture
The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested
in controlled clinical trials reported in the recent literature can be
classified into four categories as shown below.
1. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been
proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment:
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
(including hay fever)
Depression (including depressive
neurosis and depression following stroke)
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer,
acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including
Induction of labour
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction
Nausea and vomiting
Pain in dentistry
(including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
2. Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of
acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:
Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
chronic, with acute exacerbation
Craniocerebral injury, closed
Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
simple (without generalized or local disease)
Eye pain due to subconjunctival
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human (alpha)
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
cocaine and heroin dependence
Pain due to endoscopic
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Postextubation in children
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
Retention of urine,
throat (including tonsillitis)
Spine pain, acute
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Above is a list of conditions that the WHO (World Health Organization) recommend to
React Positively to Acupuncture Treatments.