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What is Acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture is a safe and effective form of Chinese medicine that has been practised in China and other countries for more than three thousand years. It involves the application of extremely thin needles at specific points on the body. According to acupuncture theory "channels" or "meridians" connect these points to one another and through these meridians there is an uninterrupted flow of energy which keeps the individual alive and healthy. In ill health this flow of energy is disrupted or blocked. By 'tapping into' very carefully selected points the skilled acupuncturist can influence the flow of energy in the meridians and restore good health. These acupoints have been identified and used over thousands of years and their location has been confirmed by modern electromagnetic research. The empirical effects of each point as detailed in the ancient classics are now taught in colleges and universities world-wide.

What can acupuncture do for me?

Acupuncture can be used to treat specific disorders, alleviate symptoms and reduce complications. It also deals with the underlying cause of the disorder to reduce its recurrence. For chronic or long term conditions acupuncture can be used to reduce discomfort and pain, improve general well being and may reduce the need for medication or surgery. Acupuncture can also be used as a preventative treatment as it is often possible to detect imbalances in the body before illness occurs. The earlier a disorder is detected the better so regular checkups are recommended.

Do Acupuncturists only insert needles?

No, acupuncture is only one part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Your practitioner may use a Laser device instead of needles or may apply cupping, electric stimulation of the acupoints, magnetotherapy or moxibustion. Moxibustion involves the burning of the herb Artemisia Vulgaris above affected areas to warm them. Various forms of massage may also be applied and your practitioner may prescribe and dispense Chinese herbs.

Are the needles sterile?

I only use pre- sterilised single use disposable needles, thus absolutely ensuring that there is no transmission of communicable diseases from patient to patient . To prevent infection members of professional bodies such as the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association and the British Acupuncture Council are also required to conform to the strict clinical hygiene standards.

How many needles are used and does bleeding occur?

The number of needles used depends on the nature of the condition being treated and the acupuncturist's style or school. Usually only a small number of needles are used and bleeding does not usually occur, as the needles are extremely fine. If the area that is needled has a rich blood supply there may be a few drops of blood.

How many treatments will I need?

This depends on the nature of the complaint. Acute conditions such as a sore throat, athletic injury may need only two or three treatments, chronic conditions require more. In China acupuncturists generally prescribe one or more courses of treatment. A course of treatment may be from three to ten treatments. It is best to consult with your practitioner to determine exactly what your condition requires.

Can children or elderly people be treated?

Yes. Children respond very well to acupuncture. Painless Laser therapy is commonly used instead of needles but when they are required only a few needles are briefly inserted. Older persons also respond well to acupuncture.

Can I have Acupuncture during pregnancy?

Yes acupuncture can be used to safely treat complications such as nausea and morning sickness and to assist during birth. Your Acupuncturist will support you throughout your pregnancy, advising on appropriate nutrition and offering treatments if needed. Acupuncture is helpful in labour and can help initiate labour when appropriate. It is important to tell your acupuncturist if you are or may be pregnant.

Is there anything I should do before receiving a treatment?

It is best not to come for a treatment feeling rushed or hurried. Do not eat a heavy meal or consume alcohol before or after a treatment. Wear loose fitting clothing. Tight stockings, jeans or other items of clothing that restrict the flow of blood should be avoided. Following treatment a light meal and if possible a quiet rest for the remainder of the day is advised.

What will I expect after the treatment?

Generally a feeling of well being, relaxation and stress relief is experienced. There may be total or partial relief from the initial symptoms. Sometimes within the first twenty-four hours there is an exacerbation of symptoms but this gradually wears off and the condition then improves noticeably. The initial pain relief may last or it may wear off after a few days. Follow up treatments will extend this period of pain relief until the condition is resolved. Most patients will feel totally relaxed and enjoy a good nights sleep and wake with a new energy.

Acupuncture is a safe, drug free modality .


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