What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment technique that involves the insertion of a number of extremely fine needles into various acupuncture ‘points’ along the Qi (energy) pathways within the body.
How does Acupuncture work?
In Chinese medicine ‘speak’, each energy pathway connects with an internal body, and the stimulation of points along this pathway can influence the functioning of that organ. Put simply, any abnormalities of the flow of energy through these channels, such as a stagnation or blockage, may result in disease, pain or a host of other symptoms. Needling points along this channel removes the blockage and encourages a smooth flow of energy, which, in turn, promotes healing.
In what types of cases would we recommend Acupuncture?
As we already know Chinese Medicine uses a range tools to treat disease. The main ones are acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Most treatments involve a combination of the two but this depends on the diagnosis.
For example, a patient with frozen shoulder or sciatic pain may get sufficient benefit from acupuncture alone, while a patient with chronic insomnia may only need to use herbs. In most conditions, however, acupuncture and Chinese herbs combined, achieves the best results.
Is Acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture should produce a very mild sensation in the form of a dull ache, throb or electric shoot. This is a sign the needle is in place and is doing its work. This sensation can, in fact, be described as pleasurable and pain relieving, in the same way someone might describe a deep massage. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine so insertion does not give the same sharpness or “sting” that an injection or blood test does. Most patients are fairly indifferent about the sensation experienced during acupuncture, so please don’t be concerned about any pain.
Electro-acupuncture is an excellent enhancement to traditional acupuncture techniques and I use it regularly in my practice. Electro-acupuncture is used most commonly to treat pain, musculo-skeletal and neurological disorders and involves passing a mild current between two needles and is very effective at improving Qi/energy and Blood circulation to an area.