Recognized by the World Health Organization and backed up by research, acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China, that treats patients by manipulating very fine, solid needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. These disposable needles are so fine that 10 of them can fit into the width of a normal syringe.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of Qi through channels known as meridians.
ACUPUNCTURE Versus DRY NEEDLING
Many of the acupuncture points have been called trigger points by physiotherapists and other body workers. They have begun to use acupuncture needles on patients (calling it “Dry Needling” as they are not acupuncturists and do not meet the regulatory standards.) It is also a more painful technique, as these points are overstimulated till the muscle twitches in response. With a minimum of 100 hours total training (which includes just 20 hours hands on) there is a high risk of damage to internal organs. This has happened in New Zealand and in the USA where patients have suffered collapsed lungs, causing 4 states in the USA to ban Dry Needling and continuing court cases in other states. Acupuncturists can and do use this technique but only as a last resort, preferring gentler ways to relieve pain.
Acupuncture can help in pain relief, strengthen internal organ function and improve immunity and the body’s natural healing ability, among many other functions. Acupuncture trials have been done in the emergency wards of 4 Melbourne hospitals, and have successfully shown that it is a safe and effective pain reliever. The long term use of opiods is now being questioned for their efficacy, so it is very important to find other modalities of healing that work for the patients.
This current research shows how acupuncture has a positive result on pain relief: https://discover.dc.nihr.ac.uk/portal/article/4000672/acupuncture-shown-to-have-benefits-for-treatment-of-some-chronic-pain?utm_content=buffered7fb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
This patient has had Bell’s Palsy, a condition of sudden facial paralysis that can last many months and cause extreme discomfort. The photo shows part of her third acupuncture treatment within two weeks of developing the condition. At this session she could already close her left eye again, her mouth had returned to the normal position, swelling had gone in the cheek and chin and feeling had returned in her face. She also took an individually tailored granulated Chinese herbal formula to speed her recovery.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
There is minimal sensation sometimes, no more than a mosquito bite or the pressure of a fingernail on the skin as they are very thin. Usually the pressure of the guiding tube is felt more than the needle insertion. A quick feeling can be detected when the Qi is activated, which fades and may leave a lovely tingle while the needles are working.
This chart displays evidence based reviewed conditions for Acupuncture.