Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a systemic body of medical knowledge looking at subtle changes in body function as being a cause or risk factor for disease.
Part of this is how the body produces, moves and uses of functional energy (Qi or Chi) and Nourishing energy (blood) to all the vital organs and parts of the body.
It is all about balance.
Good communication in the body allows organs to function in harmony. This then allows the body to resist disease and recover quickly.
Many of the demands on our body create habits that push the body out of balance, this on top of natural weaknesses allow disease processes to start, some of which will not become apparent for decades.
Chinese Medicine may be useful to manage an existing disease, but is also potentially useful at reducing risks for severe diseases that have early signs.
After all life is not just about surviving but also getting the most out of life.
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses herbal medicine, acupuncture and lifestyle changes to effect changes in disease processes and encourage disease prevention.
More and more research is showing Chinese Medicine Treatments, including acupuncture, may be helpful in management of many different disease states. (See below Acupuncture Research).
Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles to stimulate changes in the body's function by improving communication between the different body systems.
It is usually a comfortable procedure that most people find very relaxing.
For those that really are overwhelmed by the idea of needles, there options that use no needles at all.
Dry needling is based on the ancient art of ASHI acupuncture which is a funny name for needling painful acupuncture points. Many practitioners attempt to differentiate dry needling from acupuncture as it allows them to get around the need to be a registered practitioner, but sadly this also means that there is no minimum level of training required to practice for Dry Needling practice. There is a lot of evidence that more years of training relates to more safety in practice.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are generally considered safe, when practised by a well trained, qualified and registered practitioner. However, as with all medical and allied health treatments, there are risks involved, the better trained the more these risks may be reduced. But no therapy is risk free.
Recent changes to Australian Laws mean that only registered practitioners can practice acupuncture, so make sure your practitioner is registered. To be a registered Acupuncture practitioner you need have completed an approved bachelor degree in Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine, which must include hundreds of supervised clinical hours.
Most private health funds provide a rebate for acupuncture services.
In some situations Workers compensation and Motor Vehicle Insurances are able to be billed for acupuncture .
Acupuncture research is happening at a rapid rate. We post links periodically on our Facebook page, so feel free to look there. The Acupuncture Evidence Project is also collating the list of conditions that may respond well from including Acupuncture in the treatment program.
Chinese Herbal medicine is the use of specific plant and mineral ingredients to assist in the regulation of the body functions. Historically some animal products may have been used, but in recent years that practice has been discouraged. Most of the recognised Chinese Herbal medicine is now "Cruelty Free" and try to avoid the use of animal products.