Acupuncture and Western Medicine

Acupuncture is an intricate system of health care that has been in continuous use for well over 2000 years. It is incorrect to think of acupuncture as merely a branch of Western Medicine. Together with Chinese Herbs, Acupuncture existed as a complete and workable medical system in its own right when Hippocrates (the "father of modern medicine") was formulating his principles.

Today, with the development of Western Medicine, perhaps the wisest approach to optimising your health is to take the best of what both worlds have to offer. The Chinese call this "walking on two legs".

A Word on Diagnosis

Acupuncture treats people, not diseases. You will most likely present yourself for acupuncture with a specific symptom or condition. You may describe your illness in the language of Western Medicine - for example: anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back or neck pain, circulatory disorders, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, general aches and pains, infertility, insomnia, immune disorders, menstrual problems, migraines, recurring sports injuries, skin conditions, sinus problems and stress to mention a few.

Surprisingly, acupuncture does not treat these conditions, because they are regarded as symptoms of an underlying energetic disturbance. It is to this that the treatment is directed. The rationale for acupuncture treatment is based on a lengthy assessment. This involves careful questioning which focuses on more than just the current health issue. In treating the person not the disease you may well find improvement in your symptom or condition as a secondary effect.

Why have Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ideal way to relieve stress and promote the body's capacity for self-healing. It promotes the rejuvenation and regeneration of the whole person - naturally.

The acupuncture points are connected to each other via channels BUT they also have the capacity to influence functioning of the internal organs.

By inserting needles into the acupuncture points, the acupuncturist is able to influence the flow of Qi. This facilitates the body's attempt to rebalance its energetic circulation towards good health.

What happens when I come for treatment?

The initial assessment and treatment will take about 1 hour. This gives the acupuncturist time to ask about:

  • Current symptoms (if any)
  • Past medical history and treatment
  • Family medical history
  • Your lifestyle and current state of health relating to digestion, sleep etc.
  • Physical examination which may include taking the radial pulse, observation of the tongue, observation of the face and body features

Subsequent treatments will be 45 minutes. A selection of points is made. Usually one to four needles is used. The most common areas for the needles are, in the arms (elbows to fingers) and legs (knees to toes). The needles stay in for about 20 minutes.