Acupuncture has been used by millions of people for over 5000 years.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the major components of the wholistic philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The aim of TCM is to determine where and how your body is out of balance, and causing symptoms such as illness or pain. Acupuncture is then used to restore the proper flow of energy (Qi), blood, and yin and yang, in order to bring the body back into balance, strengthening and normalizing proper function.
How it works
Energy (Qi) flows through the body along meridian pathways associated with the body’s organs and systems. Very fine sterile acupuncture needles are inserted into points along these meridians to adjust, unblock and balance the flow of qi, which helps the body to heal, and prevents illness.
Acupuncture has many complex effects on the body which are only just starting to be understood with modern research methods. Research has found that acupuncture affects mediators, receptors and signalling pathways and produces analgesic, anti-emetic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Evidence –Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2015 (@)!%), Article ID 975632, 10 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/975632
Acupuncture has been shown to have a positive effect in helping to manage symptoms of a wide variety of disorders. In others it can provide supportive care to existing medical treatment. Some examples are:
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation (1), irritable bowel (2), gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) (3), chemotherapy-induced and post-operative nausea and vomiting, morning sickness.
- Women’s health issues such as primary dysmenorrhea (4), ovulation (5) and menopausal symptoms(6)
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain, shoulder pain, chronic low back pain (7), knee osteoarthritis pain, post-operative pain.
- Chronic pain. A review by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2017 concluded that acupuncture is more effective than both usual care and sham acupuncture for chronic pain based on the most robust evidence from high-quality trials of acupuncture for chronic pain. (8a, 8b)
- Acupuncture may assist with depression that is related to chronic pain by managing the underlying pain.
- Chronic and tension-type headaches(9) and migraines (10)
- Allergic rhinitis (11).
- Insomnia (12), anxiety (13) and stress management. Acupuncture has been shown to be promising in improving sleep, mood and quality of life (14).
(1) Comparison of electro-acupuncture and medical treatment for functional constipation: a systematic review and meta-analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28630049
(2) Effectiveness of Acupuncture to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis, World J Gastroenterol, 2014 Feb 21;20(7):1871-1877. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3930986
(3) Acupuncture for Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis, BMJ Original paper, Jul 7, 2016. http://aim.bmj.com/content/early/2017/07/07/acupmed-2016-011205.share
(4) Shug SA, Plmer GM, Scott DA, Halliwell R, Trinca J. Acute pain management: Scientific evidence, 4th edition, 2015. The Medical Journal of Australia. 2016;204(8):315-7.
(5) Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Acupunct Med 2017 June; 35(3):162-170. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28077366
(6) Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) Study: a Pragmatic, Randomized Controlled Trial. Avis N, Coeytaux R., et al. Menopause 2016 June;23(6):626-637 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4874921/
(7) Complementary medicine for low back pain : what is the scientific evidence ? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28643968
(8a) Macpherson H, Vickers A, Bland M, Torgerson D, Corbett M, Spackman E, et al. Programme Grants for Applied Research. Acupuncture for chronic ain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. Southhampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library
(8b) Rewiring the Primary Somatosensory Cortex in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Acupuncture. Brain, 2017 April 1;140(4):914-927. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28334999
(9) A summary of a Cochrane Review: Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27818716
(10) Acupuncture modulates the abnormal brainstem activity in migraine without aura patients https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28580293
(11) Acupuncture for seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial: Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Volume 115, Issue 4, October 2015, Pages 317–324.e1 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1081120615003427
(12) Efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment on primary insomnia: a randomized controlled trial. Sleep med. 2017 Sep;37:193-200. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2017.02.012. Epub 2017 Mar 8.
(13) Acupuncture for anxiety and anxiety disorders – a systematic literature review. http://www.aim.bmj.com/content/25/1-2/1.short
Acupuncture for anxiety. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics. N. Errington-Evans. Volume 18, Issue 4 April 2012 Pages 277–284 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00254.x/full
(14) Bosch P, van den Noort M, Staudte H, Lim S. Schizophrenia and Depression: A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness and the Working Mechanisms Behind Acupuncture. Explore (New York, NY) 2015;11(4):281-91.
What to expect at your first appointment
Your acupuncturist will thoroughly assess your condition and make a diagnosis according to TCM principles. Your medical history, family medical history, diet, lifestyle and any medications or supplements you are taking will also be discussed. They will examine your tongue, take a series of pulses, and may palpate tender points along meridians.
You will then lie down in a comfortable position and very fine acupuncture needles will be inserted at specific points. You may feel a mild dull sensation or a bit of a tingle. Most people find the experience very relaxing. Moxibustion (heat produced by a particular herb), cupping, electro-acupuncture and/or massage may also be used.
Acupuncture treatment is generally considered to be safe but occasionally may be associated with possible adverse reactions in individual cases.
An American Specialty Health patient satisfaction survey by health insurers of 89,000 patients treated by 6,000 acupuncturists during 2014 and 2015 found the following: 93% reported success in treating their primary condition, 99% rated their quality of care and service to be excellent, and 90.5% said they would probably or definitely recommend their health plan to others. http://www.files.clickdimensions.com/ashcompaniescom-a7oce/files/acupuncturecahps.pdf
How long does it take to treat a condition?
The amount of treatment you need will depend on your condition and how long you’ve had it. Your acupuncturist will estimate the number of treatments you will need once they have observed how your body responds to a few treatments. Generally, acute conditions are resolved faster than chronic conditions. In some cases, Chinese herbal medicine is combined with acupuncture for better or faster results.
All acupuncturists at the Wholistic Medical Centre are registered with AHPRA and, in accordance with the national registration standards of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia and AHPRA, are obliged to meet standards of safety and efficacy.
Our Acupuncture Practitioners
Tanya Newton – Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine - M.TCM, Cert.TCM (China)
Tanya uses the holistic philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine to restore health, balance and vitality.
Suzi Wigge – Sydney Integrative GP, Anti-Ageing and Nutritional Medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, - M.B., B.S., FRACGP, Dip. TCM (Sydney), Cert. TCM (China), DRM.
Suzi is an integrative medicine practitioner who combines orthodox medicine with a range of natural therapies targeting root causes of health problems.