What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China over 5000 years ago. Acupuncture works on the belief that a balanced flow of qi, the vital life energy present in all living organisms, determines your health status. According to acupuncture theory, chi circulates in the body along twelve major pathways, called meridians, each linked to specific internal organs and organ systems.
By inserting very-fine gauge sterile single-use needles at specific points along the meridians, your acupuncturist can redirect and reposition the flow of energy (qi) to relieve tension, stress, and pain. The uninterrupted and balanced flow of energy along these meridians contributes to one’s overall health. However, blockages and imbalances result in pain and illness.
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.
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 effect that will be monitored by your practitioner during the consultation. At PhysioWorks, we only use single-use, individually wrapped and sterilised needles that we discard immediately after use.
Children and Acupuncture
Parents and guardians permission is required for children under the age of 18. Older children are usually comfortable with acupuncture. However, for small children or patients who fear needles, needle acupuncture is not recommended.
How Much Acupuncture Treatment Will You Need?
The response to acupuncture treatment varies from person to person. Obviously, your treatment schedule will vary depending on your condition. Your healthcare practitioner will discuss your treatment plan during your consultation 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 or acupuncture consultation.
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.