Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points which have been empirically and experimentally proven effective in the treatment of specific disorders. Acupuncture is an indispensable part of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the prevention and control of diseases. It was invented by the ancient Chinese between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. Through the long-term accumulation of experience and development of needling tools, the academic accomplishments of ancient acupuncture were made about 3,000 years ago.
Acupuncture is the world’s oldest medical therapy and has been used by China for 10,000 years until now. Since the sixth century, it has been introduced to other countries and is now becoming more and more popular all over the world because of its safety, effectiveness and efficiency in treating a wide range of health problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) publicly announced in 1980 that acupuncture is suitable for treating the following:
1. Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
Toothaches, pain after tooth extraction, gingivitis, acute or chronic otitis, acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, nasal catarrh, and acute tonsillitis.
2. Respiratory Disorders
Bronchial asthma (in children or adults when uncomplicated).
3. Gastrointestinal Disorders
Oesophageal and cardio spasm, hiccup, gastroptosis, acute or chronic gastritis, sour stomach, chronic duodenal ulcers, acute or chronic colonitis, acute bacillary dysentery, constipation, diarrhoea, and paralytic ileus.
4. Eye disorders
Acute conjunctivitis, central retints, near sightedness (in children), and cataracts without complications.
5. Neurological and muscular Disorders
Headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, facial paralysis (within the first 3-6 months), post— stroke paresis, peripheral neuritis, neurological bladder dysfunction, bed—wetting, intercostals neuralgia, cervical syndrome, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain, and osteoarthritis.
In addition, acupuncture has been used for centuries in China to treat a host of other problems effectively, such as epilepsy, mental disorders, arthritis, rheumatism, sprains and strains, most gynaecological complaints and some obstetrical conditions.
That’s a big question. Traditionally, acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theory of the flow of Qi (energy) and Xue (blood) through discrete channels or meridians which traverse the body similar but not identical to the nervous and blood circulatory systems. According to this theory, acupuncture regulates this flow of Qi, directing it to those areas where it is deficient and draining it away from where it is excessive. Thus acupuncture can regulate and restore the harmony among the organs and balance of the energy level of the body.
Since the 1950s, a great deal of modern scientific research in acupuncture has been done worldwide, especially in China, Japan, Europe and America. Essentially, acupuncture has the function of biphasic regulation of the various systems of the body at all levels, e.g. at the systems, organs, cells and molecules, to help the body restore its normality. For example, acupuncture can help either constipation or diarrhea.
Lots of factors can influence the effect of acupuncture. First of all is the patient’s health condition, its duration, severity and nature, and constitution. Then the accuracy of acupoint location, the practitioner’s skill, the depth and direction of needle insertion are quite important. In addition, the season, climate and emotional and psychological conditions can also be related.
Yes. Acupuncture acts on the existing functions of the body, and helps the body heal itself. Thus it doesn’t work if the certain tissues and cells of the body are completely damaged and have no specific functions. For example, it is helpless to congenital genetic diseases.
This depends upon the duration, severity and nature of each individual’s complaint. Some acute mild conditions may only require a single treatment and some chronic conditions may require scores of treatments. Generally from three to 12 treatments are adequate for most of the minor and medium common problems, 12 to 24 treatments for majority of chronic conditions. For some very difficult chronic disorders, it might take six months or even a year to make significant progress. However, you have the right to expect that your major complaints will be addressed and well treated in a direct and timely manner.
You may experience an immediate, total or partial relief of pain or other symptoms. Often, the most dramatic effects are experienced in the first treatment. This relief may last or some of the pains may return.
In a few cases, the pain may seem even worse within the first one or two days, which can be expected to improve greatly later. However, you should see further gradual fluctuating improvement after each subsequent treatment.
For some difficult chronic diseases, there may be no immediate relief within the first several weeks of treatment.
This is indeed an important question. Although acupuncture is getting more and more popular all over the world, it is still not a licensed and regulated healthcare profession in New Zealand.
Anybody can set up an acupuncture clinic and call themselves acupuncturists.
Currently, there are many kinds of acupuncturists practising acupuncture. Some have trained for several years, getting diplomas or degrees. Others may have spent a only few months or even several weekends on training.
You should ensure that your chosen practitioner is intensively trained and should inquire about where the training took place, how long the training was, how long he/she has been in practice and what experience the practitioner has had in treating your specific ailments
For more information on acupuncture and any enquires, please contact our clinic near you.
This depends on the acupuncturist’s skill, location of the point, intensity of needling stimulation and pain tolerance of the patients. If the correct stimulus of the needles has been obtained, the patient should feel some mild soreness, cramp, numbness, heaviness, distension or their radiating sensations either around the needles or travelling up or down the affected.
In fact, if no sensations occur in needling time, the treatment has little healing effect. In English, these sensations may be categorized by some people as types of pain. However, if there is any discomfort, it is usually mild and temporary.
There are some exceptions, it would hurt when puncturing the points on the fingers or toes, or somewhere with little muscles or fat tissues, or if an acupuncturist is not skilled, or occasionally you may feel sharp pain when a small blood vessel beneath the skin was punctured.