Recognized by the World Health Organization, 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. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of Qi through channels known as meridians. The needles used are disposable. 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 underway in the emergency wards of 4 Melbourne hospitals, and are successfully showing that it is a safe and effective pain reliever.
This patient has 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. She can already close her left eye again, her mouth has returned to the normal position, swelling has gone in the cheek and chin and feeling has returned. She is also taking an individually tailored granulated Chinese herbal formula.
Does acupuncture hurt? There is minimal sensation usually, 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.