Questions related to acupuncture


How does acupuncture work?


When administering acupuncture on a patient, the practitioner will insert small needles into specific acupuncture points on the body. The patient will lie still for 20 minutes to one hour and then the needles will be removed by the practitioner.

Acupuncture encourages the body to release endorphins, effectively easing symptoms of pain and discomfort. Acupuncture acts to increase the flow of energy in the body. Different techniques are used to combat different conditions. It has also proved useful to many patients who experience conditions affecting the mental and physical state simultaneously.


What can I expect when getting acupuncture?


In general a small prick when the needle is first inserted is all that a patient will feel during an acupuncture session.

Pain during an acupuncture session may be associated with different things. The current mental and physical condition of a patient will alter the level of discomfort. If the condition is more severe it will also affect the outcome of acupuncture and the level of pain. The time of the day when receiving acupuncture can also intensify physical sensations, for example after work when an individual is tired or stressed. Posture and movement can also affect comfort during acupuncture. It is not necessary to be completely still, however it is recommended to keep the area being treated still to reduce the chance of pain. Moving other parts of the body while being treated should not have an impact on pain.

Patients may also experience other sensations apart from pain whilst having acupuncture. Feelings of electricity, itchiness and heaviness of limbs, or a combination of these may also be present.

Qi starts from the hands and feet and moves outwards throughout the body. Because energy is very concentrated below the knees and below the elbows, especially in the hands and the feet, when being treated with acupuncture in these areas many patients may experience stronger physical effects including pain and other sensations. As a result symptoms may be resolved more quickly.


How should I feel after I receive acupuncture treatment?


Responses to acupuncture are different for everyone. Some people will feel very calm and a little tired, others will feel energised and refreshed. In general the experience is pleasant however some people feel pain for a few hours. This can be attributed to the channels of qi being opened up with the acupuncture. We recommend that patients being treated with acupuncture abstain from full water contact for two hours after treatment in activities such as showering and swimming. Otherwise it is ok to continue with your day as normal, driving, walking, eating etc.


How often should I get treated with acupuncture?


The frequency and length of time that each person should receive acupuncture changes with individual conditions. Usually if the condition is acute then the treatment will be quite frequent, for example a few sessions a week, but the length of treatment will be shorter, for example only one month of treatment needed. If a patient has a chronic condition it is recommended that they have treatment 1-2 times a week for a period of 5-10 weeks before reassessment of the condition.


Can I get acupuncture while being treated with other methods like massage, or while taking medicine?


Chinese Medicine revolves around a theory of holistic care and as such works well in conjunction with other Chinese medicine treatment such as herbs and acupressure massage. It is also fine to be taking prescription medication and be treated with acupuncture. Generally Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments do not affect other medical treatments.


Are there different styles?


At the Capital Health Centre of Traditional Chinese Medicine our practitioners use five different techniques of acupuncture specifically selected to treat individual conditions. They include:

  •           Body – This technique is very traditional and is based around centres in the body called ‘Meridians’.
  •          Auricular – This technique is practiced on the ears. Practitioners use this type of acupuncture especially to treat metabolic conditions. For example when a patient has a weight problem or is trying to stop an addiction.  
  •         Holigraphic – This technique involves one part of the body being a miniature representation of the entire body. This technique allows practitioners to treat areas which are unable to be directly accessed. It is common to use holigraphic acupuncture for mixed conditions comprising mental and physical components and also when a patient has bodily dysfunction in certain areas. 
  •           Zone reflection – This technique involves the use of a partner, or opposite, body part in place of the actual location of the condition. It is often used to treat muscular-skeletal conditions or nerve damage. This includes when an area’s condition is acute and too sensitive for direct treatment.
  •         Trigger point – This acupuncture technique is also referred to as Ashi point acupuncture and is used for muscle based conditions. It treats muscle tightness, conditions from overuse and in general mild, chronic conditions such as neck pain from long term tension.


For more details please visit your local clinic and talk to one of our qualified Chinese Medicine practitioners.