Acupuncture

Acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine which involves using small needles to stimulate specific points on the body to achieve positive health outcomes. Chinese medicine acknowledges unique relationships between each system in the body (e.g. digestive, respiratory, cardiac etc). These relationships are complex and the terminology we use to describe them is quite different to those used in Western Medicine. Though we don’t treat according to Western Medicine diagnoses, we do understand the symptoms and progression of disease involved with these diagnoses because it is part of our training to do so.

Can I claim acupuncture on Work Cover (QLD)?

Your GP can add acupuncture to the list of approved health services on your Work Cover claim. At your first acupuncture appointment, bring your Work Cover referral letter from your GP with you. Payment in full is required at the time of consultation and treatment. You will be issued with a receipt to claim this appointment through Work Cover. Subsequent consultations need to be approved with Work Cover before commencement. We will contact your Case Specialist to arrange this.

Does it hurt?

No, it is not painful. The needles we use are very fine and smooth and the techniques we use are incredibly gentle. Often, the anticipation of strong sensation is drastic compared to what it actually feels like. Acupuncture consistently has fewer and less severe side effects than other treatment modalities. This is evident in clinical practice and in high quality research studies.For more questions like this, please read the Frequently Asked Questions page.

How may acupuncture help me?

The effects of acupuncture on pain and inflammation are well documented and many patients seek acupuncture to relieve musculoskeletal aches and pains, headaches/migraines, period pain, gastrointestinal pain and sinus pain. Acupuncture regulates the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems to improve sleep, digestion, circulation, and mental and physical relaxation. For more information about acupuncture for specific conditions, please visit the Acupuncture Now Foundation and Acupuncture Evidence Project.

Sometimes results can be achieved in one session and sometimes conditions require ongoing maintenance. Ultimately, this depends on a persons constitution, lifestyle factors, medications and stage of illness. As with conventional treatment, not all problems can be completely resolved, but the aim is to naturally improve quality of life and reduce the intensity and duration of health problems by utilising our body’s self-healing abilities.

Read our blog articles and follow our Facebook page to find out more about acupuncture research and Chinese Medicine philosophy.

Moxibustion

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion (moxa) refers to the burning of dried mugwort to facilitate healing by providing warmth and stimulating blood flow. It’s botanical name is Artemesia Vulgaris and the mandarin name is ai ye. It is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique which has been used for centuries. Moxa comes in a variety of forms for different techniques depending on what we want to achieve. We can use it directly against the skin, but more often it is indirect. Indirect moxa sits on the handle of a needle or the practitioner holds it away from the skin and moves it from one spot to another.

What is moxibustion used for?

Your practitioner may use moxibustion to warm an area which is cold to touch or to stimulate blood flow and free movement where there is pain or restriction. For example, Western medicine calls mugwort an ’emmenagogue’ meaning that it improves blood circulation in the uterus. Depending on the individual, it may be appropriate to use moxa over the lower abdomen for conditions which present with period pain.

The use of moxibustion applied to the little toe for difficult labour was first mentioned in the Moxibustion Methods for Emergencies by Wenren Qinian in 1226. In Chinese hospitals, this technique has been used to treat breech presentations for decades however the research to date, although promising, is not yet sufficient for this method to be incorporated into clinical practice guidelines for obstetricians in Australia. The New Zealand clinical practice guidelines do recommend it. Consult your practitioner to discuss whether or not this ancient technique might be useful for you. The latest Cochrane systematic review on this topic was in 2012 which found limited evidence to support the use of moxibustion for breech presentation.

 What does it feel like?

Moxa is very soothing and works fast to relieve pain. It is not appropriate for every condition or every person but your practitioner will know when it’s wise to use moxa. Some types of moxa release a significant amount of smoke with a pungent odour. In the clinic we prefer to use a type of moxa which is less smokey and smelly but just as effective. This tends to be the better option for those with respiratory problems or smoke sensitivity. Many patients report that moxa is energising, soothing and provides fast pain relief.