What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of sterile needles into specific points on the body. These points are known as acupoints. Most acupoints lie on channels or meridians, which run over the whole body. Channels are major pathways for the flow of qi. The needles are usually left in place for a short period, and may be manipulated in specific ways to increase therapeutic effect. In the treatment of children, the needles are usually inserted then removed straight away. According to TCM) theory, obstruction to the smooth flow of qi is associated with symptoms of disease. Acupuncture is one technique to adjust and correct qi flow. Other methods employed in TCM include moxibustion, massage, cupping, as well as herbal medicines, electro and laser therapies.
In Australia, acupuncture needles are single use, disposable needles, usually made of stainless steel, although other metals such as gold may be used. They are very fine, tiny compared to the standard hypodermic needle. A such, the sensation is very different from giving blood, or receiving a vaccination. It is most often described as a dull sensation, and many people find acupuncture to be a pleasant and relaxing experience.
Acupuncture is one of the major therapies used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is one of the oldest systems of health care in the world, having been in use for thousands of years. In China it forms a major part of primary health care. Hospitals even exist that are dedicated to acupuncture. The last thirty to forty years have seen a gain in popularity and acceptance of acupuncture in Australia, and rightly so. It is a natural, effective holistic health care system. It has been formally recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and just this year, became a Nationally Registered profession in Australia.