What is acupuncture?
- Promotes and balances the flow of qi/energy
- When the flow of qi through our meridians becomes blocked, illness results.
Sound familiar? This is a default explanation often given to people; it is an over simplification to a complex medical system in practice for almost 3000 years.
- Relieves pain
- Reduces inflammation
- Restores homeostasis
- Promotes blood flow
- Releases natural painkillers
- Reduces intensity and perception of chronic pain
- Reduces stress
- Stimulates the peripheral nervous system
A fully trained and licensed acupuncturist will have put in more than 400 hours of study, with an extra 400 or more hours of supervised clinic work.
So, how does acupuncture work and what does it treat?
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals change the perception of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
The World Health Organization recognizes the benefits of acupuncture in a variety of conditions, some of these include but are not limited to
- Digestive disorders; constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, IBS
- Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma
- Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, low back pain, sciatica, knee pain
- Stress, tension and their associated problems, be they physical or emotional
- Fertility assistance
How many treatments will I need?
Because acupuncture is used for such a variety of ailments and because people all react differently to treatments, it is very difficult to say definitively how many each person will require; your acupuncturist may be able to advise you on an approximate number of visits for conditions similar to yours, based on those which they have already dealt with, these are guide lines only. Many things will influence the outcome, how often you come in for treatments, whether the condition is chronic or acute, the severity, obviously if you break your leg you would be better off going to A and E; also time frames must be taken into account, if you are coming in to try and regulate your menstrual cycle to increase your chances of conception, you will only see any results approximately every 4 weeks.
Are treatments covered by health insurance?
It all depends on what plan you are on and with which insurance company you are with, most of them do recognise the benefits of acupuncture and include them on some of the plans, the best way is to check your plan or ring your insurance company with your policy number and ask them to check for you.