Originating in China, acupuncture is a skill utilised by physiotherapists as part of an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation. Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence suggesting that acupuncturists can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals. These chemicals assist the body’s healing processes and offer pain relief as a precursor to other treatments such as manual therapy or exercise in order to aid recovery.
Modern acupuncture involves inserting fine needles at certain sites on the body following an assessment. Through doing so, the sensory nerves in the brain and spinal cord are stimulated, resulting in various natural pain-relieving chemicals to be released from the body. These chemicals include endorphins, melatonin (which promotes sleep) and serotonin (to promote well-being), to name a few. When used over an extended period, acupuncture is known to result in long-lasting pain relief and relaxation.
On the other hand, traditional acupuncture is based on the idea that a “life force”, or Qi (as it is traditionally known) flows through the body. When this natural flow is disrupted, illness occurs. Therefore by using acupuncture, the flow of Qi is restored – resulting in better health.
Acupuncture is highly versatile and can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other pain-relieving treatments. Some of the common conditions acupuncture can help with include:
If you’re considering acupuncture for the first time to help treat a condition you’re dealing with, book in for your initial appointment with one of our acupuncturists. Our experienced team of licensed acupuncturists will be able to assess your current condition and recommend whether acupuncture is a suitable treatment for you. They will also be able to give you a better idea of how many acupuncture treatments will be required to help reach your goal, and talk through the procedure in greater detail.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that acupuncture assists in both female and male reproductive health, particularly in couples going through IVF treatment. The use of acupuncture helps to enhance the overall health of the body, enabling couples to better cope with the physical and emotional stresses associated with fertility treatments. Many women also decide to continue their acupuncture treatment throughout their pregnancy, as it can help to treat a variety of health conditions during this time and into early motherhood.
Various research suggests that acupuncture is beneficial in treating generalized anxiety disorders, this is because it helps to promote calmness, relaxation and healing by regulating the nervous system. Through acupuncture treatments, the body is helped to shift back to a relaxed state, where the sympathetic system (or nervous system) is more balanced, resulting in lower levels of anxiety and improved mental health.
During your initial acupuncture appointment, the physician will look at your medical history and assess the areas where you are experiencing pain (if necessary). We will then discuss the treatment options available to you, as well as any associated side effects of the treatment.
When the practitioner begins administering the treatment, you’ll be asked to either sit or lie down. Then, the practitioner will choose the specific points to place the needles, depending on the condition you currently need help with. The needles will be inserted, and once in place will be left anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes, again depending on your condition and what you’d like to achieve.
Like any treatment, acupuncture comes with certain side effects that are worth considering before you go ahead. Some of these side effects may include:
If you’re worried about any of the following side effects, please talk to your physician about this during your initial consultation where they will be able to provide you with greater information and reassurance.