Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine used by humans, its origins dating back thousands of years to China and East Asia.  Acupuncture is part of an integrated system of healthcare known as Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture is the practise of inserting very fine sterile needles into one or more acupuncture points located at specific locations on the body.  There are hundreds of acupuncture points all used for different health imbalances.  Acupuncture points are selected for each individual based on their individual health imbalances.

What to expect at your first Acupuncture consultation

1. Discussion:

Your consultation will commence with discussion about your reasons for seeking treatment.  Your Acupuncturist will ask about the main health issue you are concerned about.  Next focus shifts to the bigger picture of you.  There is much more to you then just your main health issue.  Your Acupuncturist will aim to understand you as a whole, because looking at the bigger picture of you gives insight into the smaller parts that make up you.  Questions asked will vary depending on your specific health concerns but may include discussion about your diet, lifestyle, general wellbeing, energy levels, sleep quality and digestion.

2. Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis:

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a unique system of medicine that contains its own diagnostic methods including tongue and pulse diagnosis.  Tongue diagnosis involves observation of the tongue.  Your Acupuncturist will look at your tongue examining such things as shape, color, coating and any markings that appear.  Pulse diagnosis involves feeling the pulse.  Your Acupuncturist will feel your pulse at both wrists.

3. Your Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Diagnosis:

Having discussed your health, observed your tongue and felt your pulse your Acupuncturist will diagnose you in Traditional Chinese Medical terms.  Traditional Chinese Medicine has its own way of analysing the body and the signs and symptoms it presents when unbalanced.  The founders of Traditional Chinese medicine discovered that certain symptoms will tend to emerge at the same time in groups.  There are patterns to the way these groups of symptoms present.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine we call these groups of symptoms “patterns of disharmony”.  Your Acupuncturist will interpret your bodies presenting patterns of disharmony. Acupuncture points will then be selected with a goal of addressing the patterns of disharmony.

4. Treatment:

Your Acupuncturist will talk you through each step of your treatment so you know what to expect.  The site of each Acupuncture point will be cleaned with the wipe of an alcohol swab.  Then sterile single use acupuncture needles will be inserted into each acupuncture point selected.  The acupuncture needles will then be retained in the body for a period of time while you rest and listen to soothing music.  Generally the needles will be retained for approximately 25-30 minutes but this time may vary accordingly.

Some health issues suitable for treatment with acupuncture include:

(As outlined by AACMA, The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association)

Addictions: smoking and drug withdrawal

Cardiovascular disorders: such as primary hypotension, high blood pressure, angina pectoris, poor circulation, cold hands and feet, muscle cramps.

Ear, nose and throat disorders: such as sinusitis, rhinitis, tonsillitis, sore throat, mouth ulcers, tinnitus and Menieres disease

Gastrointestinal disorders: such as nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, gastric/duodenal ulcer, chronic ulcerative colitis, loss of appetite

Gynaecological issues: such as painful period, irregular period, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal syndrome, fertility issues, IVF support

Musculoskeletal conditions: such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sports injuries, back and neck pain, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, rheumatism

Neurological conditions: such as sciatica, trigeminial neuralgia, peripheral neuropathy, stroke, Bell’s Palsy

Pregnancy and Labour: fertility issues, morning sickness, labour pain, induction of labour

Painful conditions: such as headaches, migraine, osteoarthritis, renal colic