About 16 years ago I became interested in Chinese Medicine when I was working with a few South East Asian Physiotherapists. They had all been trained in Australia but commented on the total absence of any information about Traditional Chinese Medicine health care and remedies.
Being curious by nature, I thought I’d look more into the subject. I undertook the 1 year Part Time post Grad Certificate of Acupuncture taught by Paula Ayoub, a renowned Physiotherapist and Acupuncturist. This is briefly what I found out about acupuncture and how it works.
For several thousand years in the Eastern world, acupuncture has been an essential part of common medicine practices. Although it has had such a huge success in the Eastern world, physicians in the West are skeptical because they are unable to understand how exactly it works. Studies are constantly showing evidence that it can even ease pain ranging from general physiotherapy problems to intense knee problems.
The procedure itself involves the use of thin needles. These needles are placed into a number of pressure points (acupoints) all over the body. By inserting needles into these acupoints, it has been shown that the needles stimulate the bodies healing capabilities and enhances its function, giving a natural alternative to Western alternatives such as surgery and regular stretching exercises.
East Meets West
As mentioned above, there is a split between the Eastern and Western world in regard to the effectiveness of acupuncture. The East believes the body contains two opposing forces: yin and yang. These forces are usually in a balance and keep the body healthy. Qi (pronounced as “chee”) is described as a river flowing throughout the body (also called meridians), and keeps the flow of yin and yang balanced. A disruption in this flow causes an unbalance, meaning an individual can become sick.
There are approximately 2000 acupuncture points that lie along the body’s meridians. Placing needles along these meridians stimulate particular parts of the body (or entire body) to relieve pressure and obstructions causing sickness, allowing the body to heal.
Contrastingly, the Western view of acupuncture is that it stimulates the CNS (Central Nervous System) to release chemicals and hormones to dull pain and boost the immune system.
There are several different types of acupuncture. Chinese Medicine is the most commonly used type, with the belief that natural energy flow is achieved by stimulating specific points in the body that correspond to the organ or body part experiencing pain.
At CBD Physio, we practice Japanese acupuncture as it is far more subtle than its Chinese counterpart. The needles are thinner and shorter, barely piercing the skin and we use fewer needles than the Chinese type of acupuncture. Japanese acupuncture is divided into two forms: root and local. Root acupuncture addresses an energy imbalance in the entire body, while local (as you’d expect) treats localised problems in the body.
It is normal to require 3 to 4 acupuncture sessions to fix most conditions. However, you should feel a difference even after your 1st session.
As with all treatments though, you must be patient and as this is an alternative form of medicine, open to alternative techniques.
By Ashton Lucas
CBD Physio on Google+