Chinese Medicine, including Acupuncture, has been the primary healthcare treatment option in China for over 3,000 years and there is little that hasn’t been treated using this system. Whilst it treats many symptoms and conditions, both acute and chronic, it is also used as preventative health care.
Chinese Medicine theory is founded on the concept that the body is governed by blood and qi (or energy) and how they flow throughout as system of channels or meridians. When the flow of energy is smooth, all organs are functioning well, and the body is in harmony. When there are blockages within these channels, the flow of energy is disturbed which leads to the body being out of balance and illness or pain may occur.
Acupuncture involves inserting thin, fine needles into the skin at specified acupuncture points throughout the body. The aim of this process is to adjust the flow of energy within the body and unblock channels, to encourage balance to be restored. These blockages of energy within the body can be caused by physical injury or trauma, poor diet, emotional distress or overwork.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises acupuncture effective in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions.
Dry needling is a technique most often used by physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors where a needle is inserted into a myofascial trigger point, tendon or joint to release tension or pain. These trigger points are hard nodules within a taut muscle band that are often painful to touch. By inserting a needle into this trigger point, the area responds with a twitch which is said to release the area of tension. Often this can feel quite uncomfortable for the patient. Some dry needling courses cover 16 hours of training, enabling the practitioner to treat.
In Ancient Chinese Medicine texts written over 1,000 years ago, they describe these trigger points as Ashi points. Acupuncturists use a similar, but more subtle technique to release the tension in these points, similar to achieving a twitch response. When a needle is inserted, there is the arrival of Qi or energy at the point, which is called the arrival of ‘de qi’. It isn’t always necessary to obtain a twitch response to get a positive outcome.
At West Coast Holistic Health, we use a finer needle than those typically used in dry needling treatments.
An acupuncture consultation will begin with the practitioner asking a series of question that may or may not seem relevant to your presenting symptom/s. You will be asked to show your tongue (please don’t scrape it prior to your appointment) and your pulse will be taken. These techniques are tools used to diagnose from a Chinese Medicine perspective. The practitioner may then perform acupuncture and/or cupping therapy as well as dietary and exercise advice.
All needles used at West Coast Holistic Health are single use which are disposed of in sharps containers according to Australian guidelines.