Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which uses needles to stimulate the specific points on our body to facilitate flow of Qi, or energy, in order to heal pain and diseases.
Effect of acuunture is for regaining the balance of Yin-yang and Five element (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung and Kidney). Acupuncture is not only for pain control, it can also help regaining physical and spiritual balance, long term health status and better qulity of life.
Acupunce is one of the Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment modalities, and is especially useful for releasing muscle tightness and relieving pain. As the different approaches of TCM acupuncture, namely, Five elevment acupuncture, Zi Wu Liu Zu, and etc. Although acpuncture needle might be contra-indicated in some situations, acupuncuture points stimulation treatment could be replaced with acupressure, moxibustion, qua-sha and massage theray.
Is acupuncture different from dry needling?
There are some similarities and differnces between these two techniques, and please refer to dry needling part for detail explaination .
Is acupuncture painful?
It should not be painful in most acupuncture points. Skilful technique in inserting needles can minimise the painful sensation. However, acupuncture therapeutic effects is based on Deqi feeling which includes dull, sore feeling and pins & needles. Please tell your acupuncturist for tender treatment technique for your first time of needling treatment.
What is the usual effect after acupuncture treament?
Treatment area might feel a bit soreness of the same day of needling. Please do not massage the treated area immediately after needling, as it will cause bruise. If there are persistent soreness and bruise, please call your acupuncturist for following-up the conditions.
Any preparation for the first time treatment?
Light eating and enough resting before acupuncture treatment. Don't be too hungry and too tired for treatment session. Please also bring a short trousers for exchange if lower back or leg need to be treated.
How long would it take in each session?
It will take about 50 minutes to 1 hour for each session. Total treatment session is based on pain level and sverity of underlying diseases. For example, piriformis syndrome caused sciatica would probably take around two sessions for pain relief, but is owould take few more seesion few more sessons to settle the lower back and pelvic primary pathology. Please discuss the treatment goal with your acupuncturist after consulatoin.
World Health Organisation list of diseases treatable with acupuncture
1) Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved -through controlled trials-be be an effective treament:
Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis(including hay fevel)
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Dysentery, acute bacilary
Epigastralia (incluging craniomandibular disorders)
Induction of labour
Low back pain
Malposition of fetus, correction of
Nausea and vomiting
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Rheumatoid arthritis Sciatice
2) Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of a acupuncute has been shown but for which further proof is needed
Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
Competition stress syndrome
Craniocerebral injury, closed
Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local diseases)
Eye pain due ot subconjunctival injection
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
Pain due to endoscopic examination
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
Postextubation in children
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Raynaud syndrome, primary
Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine, traumatic
Actually, not every conditions and diseases are suitable for acupunctue, here are some situations need caution when considering acupunctuer:
- Needle phobia
- people with hemophilia or use of blood thinners
- Pelvic region while pregnancy
- Emergency for surgery
In modern medicine, acupunctuer is commonly used , but the theory behind practice is totally different from TCM. The dry needling is mainly based on trigger points, without the use of TCM examination.
Lo Man Kin, William
Mr. Lo received full time training in Physiotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. After working in orthopaedic clinic, he gained lot of experience in treating different kinds of pain condition. He has great interest in integrated medicine and like to explore the ancient medical knowledge. He is now also serving as the committee member of one of the course in Hong Kong St John Association, write for the column and promote acupuncture in radio program.