Acupuncture as an important part of Chinese medicine, originated in China over 2000 years ago, is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care and is being used by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.
Acupuncture – a time-honoured medicine
The origins of acupuncture in China can be traced back at least 2000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Today, acupuncture is an effective, natural and increasingly popular form of health care that is being used by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.
What is qi & how does it affect the body?
When healthy, an abundant supply of qi (pronounced chee) or “life energy” flows through the body’s meridians (a network of invisible channels through the body). If the flow of qi in the meridians becomes blocked or there is an inadequate supply of qi, then the body fails to maintain harmony, balance and order, and disease or illness follows. This can result from stress, overwork, poor diet, disease pathogens, weather and environmental conditions, and other lifestyle factors and becomes evident to TCM practitioners through observable signs of bodily dysfunction. TCM practitioners look carefully for these signs of health and dysfunction, paying particular attention not only to the presenting signs and symptoms, but also to the medical history, general constitution, and the pulse and tongue.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific sites (acupuncture points) along the body’s meridians to clear energy blockages and encourage the normal flow of qi through the individual. The practitioner may also stimulate the acupuncture points using other methods, including moxibustion, cupping, laser therapy, electro-stimulation and massage, in order to re-establish the flow of qi.
As a natural form of healing, acupuncture has the following benefits:
- provides drug-free pain relief.
- can be effective in the treatment of acute and chronic ailments as shown in research studies which have been collated in the Acupuncture Evidence Project.
- takes an holistic approach by addressing the underlying cause of the condition, as well as the symptoms. The approach links body, mind and emotions.
- assists in the prevention against disease and illness as well as the maintenance of general well-being.
Is there any evidence that acupuncture works?
The Acupuncture Evidence Project was published in 2017. It is a review of the evidence supporting the efficacy of acupuncture currently available. Of the 122 conditions reviewed, evidence of effect was found at various levels for 117 conditions. The findings of the review include:
• Conditions with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture included allergic rhinitis (perennial & seasonal), knee osteoarthritis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics), migraine prophylaxis, chronic low back pain, postoperative nausea & vomiting, headache (tension-type and chronic) and postoperative pain.
• Conditions with moderate evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture included acute low back pain, acute stroke, neck pain, obesity, anxiety, peri-menopausal and postmenopausal insomnia, asthma in adults, post-traumatic stress disorder, constipation, hypertension (with medication), irritable bowel syndrome and menopausal hot flushes.
Melbourne acupuncturist & Chinese herbalist Dr. Rayman Wu is a fully qualified acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner. He is registered with the AHPRA, and he is an accredited member of the Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) as well as accredited member of the Federation of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Societies of Australia (FCMA). Call 03 8839 0748 or make online appointment to see how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you.