What is Acupuncture?



History


Acupuncture began with the ancient Chinese who made observations about the human body in various states of health and disease. They discovered tender points, which, when rubbed or stimulated, appeared to help in the treatment of the person, either by alleviation of symptoms or cure of the disease. In later times, a very complex system of "points" and "energy channels" was described and incorporated into a complete theory/philosophy, to explain how it all worked.

Modern Western theories, such as the "Reflex", "Gate control" and "Neurohumoral" theories, help us to understand acupuncture on a scientific basis. Many traditional Chinese practitioners continue to use the Eastern paradigm, but the Western paradigm is gaining considerable scientific validity.

Methods of stimulation in acupuncture have varied over the years. Modalities have included pressure (in Japan - shiatsu), heat (using a herb called moxa or Artemis vulgaris), ultrasound and electric stimulation. I prefer the traditional and more effective method of needle stimulation, although I am using Laser treatment more often these days especially for children, for certain points on the body and for those with a particular fear of needles. Both laser and needles are very effective. Some patients who have been treated with both, have a preference with regard to efficacy, and request one or the other.


Treatment:


For new patients:

It is important before treatment begins, that a thorough assessment, examination and diagnosis be made and that the treatment be discussed.

In the COVID situation, we have had to reduce the initial 1 hour face to face consultation to a shorter time, and to do that we have introduced an initial phone consultation via TELEHEALTH. This service will be bulk billed and will last between 30-60 minutes.

The first face to face consultation will have a time slot of 30 minutes, mostly for treatment, as the Telehealth consultation will have been done. This allows us to reduce the contact time, according to social distancing policy.

The number of treatments depends on the condition and the rate of progress, but typically is between 5 & 10 sessions. Occasionally only one or 2 sessions are needed and for very difficult conditions it may be more than 10.

Responses to treatment vary greatly, depending on the patient, the condition and the complexity. Usually it takes 2 -3 sessions to really appreciate the progress.