Acupuncture treatment forms the basis of a holistical health care system that has been in practice in China for the past 4000 years. Currently, a growing body of scientific evidence is revealing its beneficial role for various ailments (see The Acupuncture Evidence Project). Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of very fine, single-use, sterile needles into specific pressure points on the body. These points reside on the meridian system and are used to regulate areas of imbalance which manifest as blockages in these pathways.
Chinese herbal medicine may be prescribed in conjunction with your acupuncture treatment plan or individually to treat some chronic health conditions. There are over 450 substances commonly used. All products utilised in the clinic are of plant and mineral origin with TGA approval, often prescribed in easy to take powders or pills.
Suction cups made of glass or plastic can also be used in an acupuncture treatment. The cups are applied by using a suction method to soft tissue areas such as the shoulders, back, thighs or calves. Cupping is used in the treatment of an array of conditions such as detoxification, cold and flu, chest and respiratory complaints, poor immunity, sporting injuries, musculoskeletal problems and neurological disorders such as back pain and sciatica. Different techniques such as stationary, sliding or flash cupping can be used according to the ailment being treated.
Moxibustion or ‘moxa’ is a heat therapy commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture. It involves the use of dried leaves of the mugwort plant (Artemisia vulgaris). Often used in sticks or compressed cones, it is held near the acupuncture needle to stimulate the flow of ‘qi’ and remove blockages.
Acupressure involves gentle touch on the acupuncture points without insertion of needles to stimulate the flow of energy along the meridians. Acupressure can be very powerful for people who are after an alternative to acupuncture treatment. This is an important method for some children’s complaints and in labour support.