What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture2Oriental medical theory describes a network of meridians (energy pathways) that can be accessed at the body’s surface at the Acupuncture points. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting tiny needles at these points to treat illness or promote health and well-being. The practitioner chooses the points based on traditional theories outlined in texts that date from at least 2000 years ago. However, these days, Acupuncturists also refer to modern research studies when selecting Acupuncture points.

What conditions do people see an Acupuncturist for?

Here are some more conditions that Acupuncture may assist with:

  • Injuries and pain – including tennis elbow, shin splints and many other sports injuries; neck/shoulder tension, headache and migraine, low back pain and knee pain.
  • Mental health issues – stress, anxiety, chronic pain related to depression,
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Period pain and menstrual irregularities
  • Pregnancy-related symptoms e.g., tiredness, morning sickness, leg cramps, back pain, pelvic pain
  • Digestive/gastrointestinal issues – e.g., constipation, indigestion/heartburn.
  • Allergies such as allergic rhinitis and hay-fever.
  • Tiredness/fatigue, including post-viral fatigue, feeling run-down.
  • Eczema, acne and other skin disorders.

A combination of Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is needed in some of these conditions for the best results.

What’s involved in an Acupuncture session?
Acupuncture treatments typically last 60-90 minutes for an initial appointment, then 45 minutes for follow-up sessions. During the first session, you will be able to discuss your issues in detail. After a thorough history, the Acupuncturist assesses the body as a whole (by palpating the Acupuncture meridians and examining the pulse and tongue) as well as looking at specific areas of the body that are symptomatic. The Acupuncture treatment consists of very gentle insertion of extremely thin needles at Acupuncture points. All needles used are sterile and disposable. To enhance the treatment, the practitioner may use moxibustion, a special technique in which a refined herb (moxa, also known as artemisia vulgaris, or mugwort), is applied to warm some of the Acupuncture points. When needed, techniques such as cupping, massage, and Chinese herbal medicine can be used to complement the Acupuncture treatment. Of course, optimising your lifestyle is also important for many conditions — so this is another area that may be addressed during sessions.

Most people report feeling extremely relaxed after Acupuncture – like when you’ve had a good massage.

How soon will I respond?
We often see a response in 4-6 sessions, sometimes sooner, depending on the condition and how long it has been present for. Within this timeframe, we can usually tell if you are going to respond well. The aim is then to decrease the frequency of treatments, as your body’s own healing systems are activated. Once the issue has been resolved, it is advisable to come in for maintenance treatment every 3 or 4 months to keep you in good health. One of the aims of Acupuncture is to move the body towards homeostasis (balance). The body has an intrinsic ability to heal itself, and Acupuncture activates this process. As we work on bringing your body into better balance, we commonly see an improvement in other niggling problems aside from the original one – a side benefit of Acupuncture treatment.

Ann McCarthy.
Ann is a licensed Acupuncturist with clinical experience treating associated symptoms that come with a wide variety of health issues including insomnia, digestive problems and pain relief but with special interest in women’s health, pregnancy, fertility and gynaecological related issues. Read more about Ann or call us on 9904-1333 to make an appointment.

Victor Fenech.
Victor has been an acupuncturist since 1986 and Chinese herbalist since 2006. He trained with many respected Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and teachers in China and Australia and continues to build on his knowledge and techniques. Read more about Victor or call us on 9904-1333 to make an appointment.

To make an appointment, just call the Neutral Bay clinic on 9904-1333 or contact us here, and they’ll do the rest for you. Referrals are not needed, and health fund cards are accepted.