What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Chinese art of medicine dating back to thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia. Chinese medicine states that an illness is due to an imbalance in the body’s energy. This energy is known as Qi. Qi runs throughout the body by way of channels and meridians that run both superficially & deep. Traditionally it is thought that acupuncture promotes the free flow of the body's Qi (energy) to bring the body into its natural balance.
What Conditions Could Acupuncture Help?
In Western Medicine, acupuncture is mainly used as a pain relief treatment option. Acupuncture may provide short-term pain relief and is commonly used in combination with other treatment options such as exercise.
Research evidence supporting acupuncture as a treatment modality is variable with most researchers noting that additional research needs to be undertaken to fully understand and support the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture. (See References below for more information)
Acupuncture may be considered by your healthcare professional after their thorough assessment in the following conditions:
For specific advice regarding your pain or health condition, please consult with your trusted healthcare practitioner. They will be able to discuss the appropriateness of acupuncture based on your clinical assessment.
Private Health Fund Rebates
Most private health funds offer rebates on acupuncture or dry needling treatments as a component of your physiotherapy consultation.
Do Acupuncture Needles Hurt?
No. The insertion of acupuncture needles should be painless. You may feel a slight tingling or heaviness after they are inserted. This is a very common and encouraged sign.
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and solid unlike medicine injection needles, which are hollow. The main reason that a drug injection needle hurts is not due to the needle, but rather the pressure of the liquid drug entering your body.
At PhysioWorks, we only use single-use, individually wrapped and sterilised needles that we discard immediately after use.
Children and Acupuncture
Older children are usually comfortable with acupuncture. However, for small children or patients who fear needles, needle acupuncture is not recommended. Parents and guardian permission is required for children under the age of 18.
How Much Acupuncture Treatment Will You Need?
The response to acupuncture treatment varies from person to person. Generally, for recent injuries or current conditions, only a few acupuncture treatments are needed in a short space of time. Chronic conditions may require a longer-term treatment plan.
Obviously, your treatment schedule will vary depending on your condition. For more specific discussion, you are best consulting your acupuncture practitioner.
Deare JC, Zheng Z, Xue CCL, Liu JP, Shang J, Scott SW, Littlejohn G. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD007070. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007070.pub2
Furlan AD, van Tulder MW, Cherkin D, Tsukayama H, Lao L, Koes BW, Berman BM. Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001351. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001351.pub2
Green S, Buchbinder R, Barnsley L, Hall S, White M, Smidt N, Assendelft WJJ. Acupuncture for lateral elbow pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2002, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003527. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003527
Green S, Buchbinder R, Hetrick SE. Acupuncture for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD005319. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005319
Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Fei Y, Mehring M, Shin B, Vickers A, White AR. Acupuncture for the prevention of tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD007587. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007587.pub2
Manheimer E, Cheng K, Linde K, Lao L, Yoo J, Wieland S, van der Windt DAWM, Berman BM, Bouter LM. Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001977. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001977.pub2.
Ning, Z. and Lao, L. (2015). Acupuncture for Pain Management in Evidence-based Medicine. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 8(5), pp.270-273.
Villarreal Santiago, M., Tumilty, S., Mącznik, A. and Mani, R. (2016). Does Acupuncture Alter Pain-related Functional Connectivity of the Central Nervous System? A Systematic Review. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 9(4), pp.167-177.
FAQs about Acupuncture
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