How can Acupuncture help me?

When we’re in pain, unwell or not quite right, most of us head straight to the medicine cabinet. We treat the symptoms and feel ‘okay’ again, but we don’t address the root cause of the issue. Instead of going for a quick fix next time you’re unwell, why not try acupuncture?

When trying acupuncture for the first time, you may have some or all of the following questions.

  1. How does acupuncture work?
  2. Does it really involve inserting needles in your body?
  3. Is there another form of acupuncture that doesn’t involve needles?
  4. What should I expect from an acupuncture session?
  5. Does it hurt?
  6. Where can I get acupuncture done?

Let’s start with how it all began.

Origin of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that treats the root cause of a health condition. TCM has been practised for over 5000 years and provides a long term approach to health and wellbeing.

Today, and there are no less than 4000 acupuncturists registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes a life forced called Qi (pronounced ‘Chi’) flows through the meridians in our bodies. Blocked or disrupted Qi may result in poor health. TCM also believes the body is comprised of five elements: water, wood, fire, metal and earth. Each element corresponds with organs and systems in the body. By focusing on these five elements and using techniques to restore the flow of Qi, TCM treats health problems from the ground up.

Are there needles involved?

So, yes, there are needles involved. acupuncture uses very fine needles to stimulate different acupoints on the body. By stimulating the acupoints, a TCM practitioner can access, restore and correct the flow of Qi.

The word ‘needle’ sets off alarm bells, which is why so many of us never experience the wonder of acupuncture. But don’t worry! When administered properly by an experienced acupuncturist, acupuncture doesn’t hurt. It’s not like having blood drawn!

Each acupoint links to a specific bodily system. However, the acupoints are not necessarily close, in proximity, to these systems. For example, stimulating an acupoint on the hand can work to reduce nausea. The stimulation of certain points can also increase blood flow to an area, which assists with healing.

According to scientists, the needles help the body relax. This releases endorphins which relieve pain and can increase the body’s blood flow. In fact, the process can be so therapeutic, that people are even known to fall asleep during treatment!

Hey, it’s not all about needles though.

There are some other techniques that are common in the process, as well.

1. Cupping

Cupping is often combined with acupuncture and can help with the body’s blood flow. It involves making a suction with cups on the body and is known to treat backaches, neck pains, stiff muscles, migraines, and for getting rid of cellulite.

2. Laser

If you’re afraid of needles but still want to reap the benefits of acupuncture, go for the laser treatment. In this process, the laser is used to activate acupuncture points in place of needles.

3. Acupressure

Acupressure is the more popular sibling of acupuncture and replaces the use of needles with pressure points like fingers. Even though acupuncture is known to strongly stimulate the energy flow in the body compared to acupressure, the latter has proved to be an effective treatment as well.

4. Chinese herbs

Acupuncturists often use Chinese herbs while needling. These are sometimes given in a tablet form, before the process.

5. Tuina massage

Tuina massage is a Chinese massage which uses the same principles as acupuncture. Practitioners use their fingers instead of needles to apply pressure on acupoints. The massage is known to encourage the flow of positive energy in the body.

6. Moxibustion

Moxibustion is another Chinese treatment which involves burning dried plants (Mugwort) on or near the body. It is commonly used for injuries and arthritis.

So, what can Acupuncture treat?

>People turn to acupuncture to treat a wide variety of conditions or to complement conventional treatment. People are often surprised at how broad the applications of acupuncture can be. While people commonly turn to acupuncture to help with musculoskeletal conditions, chronic pain and migraines, many metabolic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions can also be treated with acupuncture.

Acupuncture can be a life-saver when it comes to bad period pains and may also be effective in treating mental health conditions like depression and chronic fatigue. Additionally, acupuncture can help maintain your overall health and wellbeing. This means you don’t need to be feeling unwell or in pain to consult an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture can also be used in conjunction with treatment for fertility (IVF) and gynecological issues.

Made up your mind? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Before Going To An Acupuncture Consultation

Avoid fried and heavy meals before your consultation but be sure not to miss a meal! This can lead to light-headedness after your session.

  1. Practitioners usually check the patient’s tongue before starting the treatment. It would be best to avoid brushing it as it can hamper your diagnosis.
  2. Wear loose clothing. Unlike a massage, you are likely to get the treatment with clothes on. Wearing a loose garment will help the practitioner treat the affected area without any obstructions.
  3. Practitioners usually check the patient’s tongue before starting the treatment. It would be best to avoid brushing it as it can hamper your diagnosis.
  4. Avoid alcohol and drugs at least 12 hours before the session.

While You’re At An Acupuncture Consultation

  1. Every body reacts differently to different treatments. And, acupuncture is no different. Give your body some time to take in the treatment.
  2. Don’t be overwhelmed when you feel the needles. A tingling sensation is totally normal. So is a feeling of warmth and heaviness.
  3. Some people feel extremely energetic after the treatment while some can feel dizzy.
  4. When you’re done with the treatment, give your body some time to absorb it. Take mental notes and let your practitioner know how you feel. This will help your sessions in the future.

If you’re looking forward to book a session, you can go through our list of trusted acupuncture professionals right here.