What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an important and unique part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has evolved over thousands of years. Acupuncture is based on the view that the whole body is interconnected and therefore the focus is treating the root patterns of disharmony rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease. It is used to help activate the body’s own healing ability to rebalance and restore itself naturally. It has been developed, tested, researched and refined over centuries to give a complex and detailed understanding of the body’s energetic balance. The focus is on the individual, not their illness, and all symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
The practice of TCM has developed from knowledge accumulated through clinical observation and treatment over several millennia. It is a comprehensive system used to diagnose and treat pain and illness, prevent disease and improve wellbeing. The philosophy behind TCM is that energy or qi (pronounced ‘chi’ and translated as ‘life energy’), circulate around interconnected channels (also known as ‘meridians’). When this flow of energy is impaired, imbalance can occur in the form of pain and/or illness. The focus of TCM is to help promote and maintain the flow of qi. Acupuncture is an important and unique part of TCM.
Together with acupuncture TCM includes the following:
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is a highly elaborate system of natural healing that has been used by millions of people for all kinds of health conditions in Asia. It uses herbs to facilitate balance of the patient’s physiology to enhance healing.
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass, bamboo or, more recently, electric silicone cups which are placed on the skin to create suction. Cupping serves many purposes including to help relieve pain, inflammation, muscle tension and to improve blood flow.
Moxibustion is the application of indirect heat using a herb called mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris). This heat is believed to improve blood flow, relax muscles, improve energy and eliminate cold.
Qi Gong is a system of coordinated body-posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health and spirituality. Qi Gong is traditionally viewed by the Chinese and throughout Asia as a practice to cultivate and balance the flow of ‘qi’ (pronounced approximately as ‘chi’ or ‘chee’) and translated as ‘life energy’.
Dietary recommendations according to TCM principles
In TCM diet is an important factor in maintaining health or recovering from illness. TCM classifies food according to its energetic effects (such as warming, cooling or damp forming) rather than just its nutritional parts. Patients are always advised to eat seasonal, unprocessed foods where possible and include multiple colours and flavours covering a variety of healthy foods according to their individual constitution and ability to digest.
In TCM there are also specific guidelines on how food should be prepared and our habits around eating foods. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different dietary recommendations.
Lifestyle recommendations according to TCM principles
In TCM, prevention is key. Making appropriate lifestyle choices means making good choices every day that enhance health and help prevent disease. Many health factors are in our individual control, through quality food choices, moderate exercise, restorative sleep, positive mindset, minimising toxins and stress management. Research demonstrates that many chronic diseases are largely caused by lifestyle choices and habits.
Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different lifestyle recommendations.
How does acupuncture work?
The philosophy behind acupuncture is that energy or qi (pronounced ‘chi’ and translated as ‘life energy’), circulate around interconnected channels (also known as ‘meridians’). When this flow of energy is impaired, imbalance can occur in the form of pain and/or illness. Insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points with appropriate combinations help regulate the flow of qi. This helps stimulate the body’s own healing response, helping to restore its natural balance.
Where are acupuncture points located?
Acupuncture points are located at precise positions along interconnected channels (also known as ‘meridians’) that map the whole body. The most commonly used acupuncture points are on the lower arms and legs.
Why should I choose acupuncture?
Acupuncture offers a safe and personalised treatment for a wide range of health conditions. Anybody can benefit from a course of treatment, from new-borns to the elderly. Acupuncture has been known to successfully treat many acute and chronic conditions that Western medicine find challenging to treat effectively.
Subtle diagnostic techniques like pulse taking and tongue observation have been developed and refined for thousands of years.
Many people also report a general improvement in wellbeing such as digestion, sleep patterns, stress and energy levels as a result of treatment.
What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can benefit a wide range of physical and emotional conditions as the focus is on the individual rather than an isolated complaint. Many people also report a general improvement in wellbeing such as digestion, sleep patterns, stress and energy levels as a result of treatment.
The evidence base for the use of acupuncture has grown substantially in recent years.
Visit the Evidence Based Acupuncture website for current research:
An Overview of Scientific Evidence (www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org)
Visit The British Acupuncture Council website for accurate and unbiased general information on a variety of conditions (A to Z):
Evidence A-Z – BAcC (acupuncture.org.uk).
Does acupuncture hurt?
The needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as your acupuncturist adjusts the needle. During treatment it is common to drift into a state of deep relaxation and even go to sleep.
Are the needles safe?
Yes, we use pre-sterilized single use needles that are extremely fine.
Do you incorporate other TCM treatments?
Other TCM treatments may be offered or recommended, depending on your diagnosis, including:
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Qi gong
- Dietary recommendations according to TCM principles
- Lifestyle recommendations according to TCM principles
How should I prepare for my treatment?
It is ideal to wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing. Eat a light snack or small meal an hour to 30 minutes before your treatment and ideally refrain from drinking coffee and alcohol for the day. If you have a claim under ACC, provide your ACC45 number. Also bring information on your medical history, any drugs or nutritional supplements you are taking, and results of other diagnostic tests, x-rays, MRI or scans.
What can I expect during an acupuncture treatment?
During the initial consultation, consideration is given to your presenting complaint as well as any underlying constitutional strengths and weaknesses. Questions can cover your current symptoms, medical history, as well as your sleeping patterns, appetite and digestion. Brenda will also take your pulse on both wrists, examine your tongue and may feel for areas of muscular tension or pain.
Based on this information, Brenda will then decide on the most appropriate course of treatment. Other TCM treatments may be offered or recommended, depending on your diagnosis.
Because channels of energy range across the whole body, the points used are not necessarily close to where you experience pain or discomfort. For example, if you suffer from neck and shoulder tension, needles might be inserted around your ankle and lower leg. The needles stay in place for between 30-45 minutes but allow one hour for the entire treatment. It is common to drift into a state of deep relaxation or even go to sleep.
How will I feel after my treatment?
It is common to experience a sense of relaxation and wellbeing following treatment so ideally you should give yourself time to rest. Occasionally symptoms may fluctuate over a 48-hour period but they are usually mild and self-correcting.
How many treatments will I need?
Every case is unique and every person responds differently. During your initial visit, a treatment plan will be recommended according to your diagnosis. If, for instance, you are in pain, more than one treatment per week may be required initially for pain control and to produce effective and lasting healing. A course of weekly treatment is most common. Treatment is reassessed constantly, reducing in frequency as your body responds.
Can I use acupuncture as a preventative measure?
Absolutely. You don’t have to have a specific health concern to come for treatment. Acupuncture is used to help activate the body’s own healing ability to rebalance and restore itself naturally. In China, acupuncture is often used to help prevent disease and improve overall wellbeing. Warkworth Acupuncture offers monthly health maintenance treatment at a reduced rate (one treatment every four weeks).
Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Acupuncture can be beneficial during pregnancy. Please inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or if you are trying for a baby.
What services do you offer and what are your fees?
1 hour sessions:
All fees are inclusive of GST.
Cancellations without 24 hours’ notice will be charged at full fee. We attempt to keep costs as low as possible and as such a strict policy must be maintained.
Is acupuncture covered by ACC?
Yes, Brenda is an Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) service treatment provider. Anyone can choose to have acupuncture once a claim has been accepted by ACC for an accident. An ACC claim can be lodged by a physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor or your GP.
Provide an ACC45 claim number on your first visit to the clinic.
Studies show that acupuncture can be effective in reducing pain, inflammation and swelling. It is commonly believed that early treatment of an injury may considerably lessen the time needed for recovery.