The purpose of acupuncture is to induce the body to trigger a natural healing response in the body’s muscles, nerves, and connective tissues. The insertion of fine needles into specific points can enhance blood flow, relax tight muscles, decrease pain and improve the body’s natural healing response.
Acupuncture is a natural healing art that can be traced back 2,000 years. Ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Indian manuscripts record the insertion of needles into specific points on the body with the aim of relieving pain, treating disease and improving health. Modern acupuncture is considered a popular, effective and natural form of health care that is currently used in most countries around the world.
Understanding physiological health and acupuncture
An effective treatment programme starts with a holistic assessment in order to understand a person’s overall health and lifestyle.
The assessment includes a thorough examination which will lead to a diagnosis of any problems which may exist. We will then explain the nature of the diagnosis and discuss treatment options aimed at relieving pain and enhancing the patient’s overall physiological health.
Rehabilitation and healing
Stimulation of acupuncture points causes the nervous system to release chemicals such as endorphins in the brain, spinal cord, and muscles. These chemicals can significantly decrease pain and cause a person to relax. A relaxed state is a state of ease – and a tense state is one of ‘dis-ease’. Our bodies function and heal better when we are relaxed and stress-free.
Immune system and energy responses
The immune system can also be stimulated by acupuncture treatments. Tissue repair can also be enhanced, meaning sprains and strains can heal quicker. The improved energy and biochemical balance positively affect physical and emotional well-being. Physical healing and improvement are closely linked to psychological health.
Resolving pain, anxiety, and sleep imbalances
Acupuncture is also very helpful for headaches, neck pain and low back pain. The benefits can extend to treatments for nervousness and insomnia, and many patients can feel significant improvements when specific calming points are targeted.
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Upper Back Pain
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The effects of dry needling
Dry needling is a term used by western medicine that defines anatomical acupuncture. In truth, the actual technique of insertion of needles into painful trigger points (Ah Shi points) is the same as traditional acupuncture. But dry needling practitioners do not subscribe to Chinese acupuncture theory such as meridians, Qi flow, 5 element theory, Ko cycle, etc. They do, however, embrace the fact that an acupuncture needle – accurately placed into a trigger point – can have a powerful pain-relieving effect. And that is the main focus of a dry needling practitioner.
Dry needling involves the insertion of a very fine acupuncture needle into a muscular trigger point to deactivate it and decrease muscular tension and pain. It also increases healing in the area and speeds up recovery. Our chiropractors, podiatrists and occupational therapists often use dry needling in combination with soft tissue therapy and manipulation.
For those out there that are afraid of needles, it is important to say that most people get up and say that they didn’t feel any pain at all. The needles are very fine and when inserted we look for a slight twitch response and mild ache – followed by total relaxation. Speak to one of our chiropractors to understand how dry needling fits into an overall pain management and recovery plan. If a ‘needle phobia’ is overwhelming, we can do pain-free cold laser acupuncture. We call it ‘Acupuncture without the puncture’!
How to recognise conditions and symptoms
Acupuncture offers many patients an alternative to pharmacological treatments. Many patients are found to be highly satisfied with acupuncture therapy when being treated for:
- Neck and back pain
- Tension headaches and migraines
- Shoulder pain
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Hip and knee pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Sports injuries – muscle strain, torn ligaments (sprains)
For many patients, acupuncture has been reported to have a high observed efficacy for acute pain or short-term discomfort caused by:
- Dental procedures
- Labour and delivery
- Menstrual cramping
- Nausea following surgery or induced by chemotherapy
- Sleep disturbances, stress and anxiety
Acupuncture as part of the treatment process
At Burswood Health, most of our practitioners focus on dry needling based on Western anatomical acupuncture and the stimulation of physiological trigger points. In contrast, traditional Chinese acupuncture works on the body’s Meridians, or Chi. Dr Paul Staerker (chiropractor) has had a major interest in traditional acupuncture for the past 40 years.
When exploring different therapies, patients can come across many different sources of information. And, sometimes it may get a little confusing, trying to keep a clear head and maintain a good overview.
By getting an assessment with a trained clinician, a person is able to make a well-informed choice in regards to the appropriate treatment. After a clear diagnosis is established, the clinician can discuss the starting point, types of therapies, and duration of time needed for achieving a full recovery and better health.
Call us, 08 9361 26 28. Book with our experienced practitioners to see how we can help you.
Practitioners who can help you with this issue
Dr Kirsty Sterle
Chiropractor, B Sc (Chiro), B Chiro Go to Dr Kirsty's profile
Dr Angus Chow
Chiropractor, B Sc (Chiro), B Chiro Go to Dr Angus' profile