What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture on stomach

Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing that originated in China over 5000 years ago. It is one of the oldest systems of medicine still in practice today. Acupuncture is practised all over the world, and is gaining popularity due to its natural form of healing. It also involves adjunct therapies including moxibustion, cupping, gua-sha, remedial massage (TuiNa), laser, electro-stimulation, diet and lifestyle advice. Acupuncture and TCM is being increasingly integrated with modern biomedicine. Acupuncture has been used in hospitals in China, Japan and Korea for decades.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific points on the body by the insertion of very fine sterile needles for therapeutic purposes. Its aim is to establish a healthier state of body functioning. Acupuncture is based on Chinese philosophy and the concept of energy (qi). Qi flows throughout our entire body like an electrical circuit, between the organs and in channel pathways, or meridians, which were mapped out by the ancient Chinese. There are 12 main meridians through which energy flows, 6 Yang and 6 Yin channels. Along these meridians, there are over 500 acupuncture points where fine needles are inserted to re-balance the body’s energy. When the flow of energy is blocked or unbalanced, illness and disease results. Acupuncture aims to correct this Yin-Yang balance, by allowing the body’s own immune system to respond, therefore improving illness. Acupuncture points are determined based on the 4 types of diagnosis including questioning, careful observation of patient’s face, colour, body features, nails, tongue and feeling of the pulse and certain body regions.

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine practitioners treat each patient as a whole, it is a very individualised form of medicine. It is aimed at looking at the root cause of the illness, not only the signs and symptoms.

What can acupuncture assist with?

Many recent randomised control trials (RCTs) have shown that acupuncture has very good positive effects for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (perennial and season), chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (with anti-emetics), chronic low back pain, headaches (both tension type and chronic), knee osteoarthritis, migraine prophylaxis, post operative nausea and vomiting and post operative pain.

In November 2018 acupuncture was recommended 4552 times in clinical practice guidelines and treatment guidelines in over 30 countries for 300 conditions (Birch et al, 2018).

Acupuncture is not a placebo! Individual patient data meta-analysis of 17,922 patients treated with acupuncture for chronic pain found: “significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo”  (Vickers A.J et al 2018). He also found that Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects.

Acupuncture consultation and treatment prices:

  • Herbal Consultation Only: $50 (20-30 mins)
  • Initial Consult and Treatment: $125 (60-75 mins), $100 (Concession)
  • Subsequent Treatments: $95 (50-60 mins), $85 (Concession)
  • 10 Acupuncture Sessions: $950 (paid upfront, includes 1 free treatment)
  • On the spot health fund rebates available
  • Worker’s Compensation is available (speak to your insurer/gp)

Note: Best results are gained when treatments are completed as part of a series, twice a week for the first week or two maybe necessary.