Can acupuncture help me?

This question always pops up in the first conversation I have with people when discussing their health concerns. Almost always, acupuncture can help you – but it depends on the individual’s condition. Let’s use back pain to illustrate the point: if you have bone spurs growing on your vertebra and this is causing the pain, acupuncture can help you manage the pain and maybe reduce your pain medication but it won’t make the pain go away. If you pulled a muscle and this is causing your back pain, acupuncture will erase the pain and help your body return to normal.

Chinese medicine is a holistic approach to healing and considers signs and symptoms in terms of organ pathologies, such as Liver Qi Stagnation, or channel issues such as Wind-Damp-Heat lodged in the big toe. Chinese medicine recognises that the entire body must be treated for the condition to be resolved and in resolving the condition, acupuncture sets about rectifying the symptoms (called the “branch”) whilst working in the background at resolving the initial problem (known as the “root”).

Liver Qi Stagnation or Spleen Yang Deficiency doesn’t mean a whole lot to most people, even if they are interested in trying a different approach to health and wellness. For this reason it is helpful to understand what acupuncture can do from a Western medicine perspective. At the risk of taking a reductionist line, here is what Chinese medicine can do:

1. Reduce pain
2. Reduce inflammation
3. Restore balance to the body (homeostasis)

Interestingly, most chronic conditions and certainly all disease have these three factors present in varying proportions.

If you want to know how acupuncture might help, please feel free to email me at sharon@peonytiger.com.au or call the clinic on 08 9520 5368 – I am always happy to discuss how we could approach your condition to help you feel better.

How does it feel to have acupuncture done?

Acupuncture is done with very fine, single-use, sterile needles. You can expect different sensations to be felt on insertion of the needle, anything from nothing at all to a deep throbbing or heavy sensation. A sense of relaxation usually accompanies your needles and you will be left to enjoy some time out whilst the needles do their work.

What can I expect from having a course of acupuncture treatments?

The Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emporer’s Inner Canon) is one of the most important texts in Chinese medicine. First written over 2,000 years ago, this text has been peer reviewed over time and in many philosophical aspects remains current in the 21st century.

Chapter 1 of the Yellow Emporer’s Canon outlines what can be expected from acupuncture:

“When the five yin and six yang organs are diseased, it is like there is a thorn, a piece of dirt, a knot, or a blockage. Although the thorn may be longstanding, it can be removed. Although the dirt may be longstanding, it can be wiped away. Although the knot may be longstanding, it can be untied. Although the blockage may be longstanding, it can be opened. Those who say that old diseases cannot be taken up speak wrongly. Those who use needles should look for the cause of disease. Then the thorn can be removed, the dirt wiped clean, the knot untied and the blockage opened up. Even though a disease is longstanding, it can be stopped.”

In short; don’t give up on your health or yourself – acupuncture can probably help with an appropriate amount of acupuncture.