Does it work? How?
People are often surprised to hear not only that Acupuncture has a considerable body of evidence, but also that we can treat so many conditions. Regardless of what your actual condition is, it is very likely that some improvement will be possible. This will depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the condition, its duration, your overall health, lifestyle factors (for example if your work/ day- to-day activities exacerbate your condition but can’t be avoided) the condition and illness itself, and the number of treatments you have.
What evidence does Oriental Medicine have?
So far, most of the evidence suggests that we assist your body in regaining its homeostasis’ (natural healthy balance) and remind it to do what its supposed to be doing. It’s actually a good deal more complex than this, of course, but this is the initial starting point. This may manifest in very different ways for different individuals.
Acupuncture actually has one of the broadest and most comprehensive evidence bases of all modalities. In fact we have considerably more evidence of efficiency than many of the standard methods of treatment for many conditions. See the Evidence page for a more complete list.
What can you treat?
What the sentences above translate to in real life means… almost anything!
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, while by no means a magic bullet (there isn’t one, I’m sorry) have evidence that we can treat a wide range of conditions. These include, but are by no means limited to:
Painful conditions, Musculoskeletal conditions, Neurological conditions, Gynaecological problems, Pregnancy and labour, Gastrointestinal disorders, Ear, nose and throat disorders, Mental health, Weight Loss, Urogenital disorders, Cardiovascular disorders, Addictions, Skin conditions, Oncology support, and Immunity. For a comprehensive list, please see the Evidence page on the side panel. If you would like details on the Mechanisms of Action for Acupuncture, please take a look at the Acupuncture Specifics: Clinical trials page.
Please also be aware that treatments for these conditions are proven to be effective for Acupuncture treatment from a Chinese Medical practitioner: this is how these treatments have been performed and validated. You are unlikely to get these results from someone without this training and expertise (as in, someone who is not registered as an Acupuncturist, practicing dry needling).
Who can you treat?
Anyone! (except haemophiliacs… for obvious reasons. Or at any rate, not with needles). Acupuncture is suitable for everyone, including the elderly, pregnant women and babies. The style, depth and manner of the treatment will be adapted to the individual as they are at that point on that day. Some tools and techniques will be appropriate for one person but not for another. Some days you may feel more sensitive, stressed or fatigued than other days. All these aspects will affect not only the treatment you receive, but also the different responses you may observe during and after your treatment.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very very tiny. The sensation is nothing at all like having your blood taken with a big hypodermic needle! Some people feel a slight pop or sting on initial insertion, some people feel very little at all. What you feel when the needles are in can vary immensely. You may feel a dull achy sensation, a tingling feeling, or a running sensation from one area to another. You may feel a lightness or release of pressure. Feel free to ask your practitioner if what is happening is normal: it very likely is. But if you feel pain or discomfort at any time, ask. Jade has treated many ‘first time’ and (previously) needle phobic individuals: you are welcome to take the time you need to feel comfortable with the idea.
What happens in the treatment?
Initially, there will be a comprehensive initial consultation. Especially for more complex or internal health conditions (as opposed to a musculoskeletal issue, generally), your practitioner will ask you a series of questions around your health, including digestive, energy, gynaecological, sleep, emotional state, as well as details about your presenting issue. We will also feel your pulse and ask to see your tongue.
Who do you work with?
I can practice either solo as your main health care provider, or in conjunction with other health professionals. With your permission and if appropriate, I can work alongside your GP, psychologist, physiotherapist, naturopath, osteopath, or other health care professional. If required I will refer you to another therapist or modality, or for more comprehensive testing for a condition if required.
I feel so much better! Can I reduce or stop my medication?
This is honestly, very likely to be the only time you see caps lock on this website. While it is true that occasionally, for some conditions, some people improve enough to reduce or no longer require their medication, you must, must, see your consulting physician rather than altering your dosage yourself.
All pharmaceutical drugs have some negative side affect associated with their ingestion: many drugs also have negative side affects associated with the reduction of the drug. You may negatively rebound and become much worse. These outcomes can be potentially life threatening so do not take the easy access to a pharmaceutical drug for granted. You should always see your medical consulting physician before changing your dose of a pharmaceutical drug.
My Physiotherapist/ Chiropractor/ Massage Therapist does Acupuncture too….
Actually, no, they almost definitely don’t. A Massage Therapist is not a Registered Health Professional – and there are very, very few Physiotherapists or Chiropractors with dual registration as Acupuncturists. Many of them have not even been approved for Dry Needling by their own professional associations, much less by the Chinese Medicine Regulation Board! Please see the top menu page for information on Acupuncture vs. Dry Needling so you can understand what the differences are.
For more information or to check that your Acupuncturist is registered visit the Chinese Medicine Regulation Board of Australia or the AHPRA website here.