Acupuncture is one of the main techniques used by a Chinese medicine practitioner to achieve improvements in health on the physical, mental and emotional levels.
In the traditional theory of Chinese medicine, very fine needles are positioned to reactivate and restore pathways in the body that in turn return function. Acupuncture does not 'fix' problems directly but rather creates a conducive environment for the body to heal itself.
Needles are one-use only, disposable needles that are sterile and completely safe in the hands of a fully trained acupuncturist. They come in many different sizes, each one is selected depending on the location of the point to be used and the sensitivity of the patient. For instance, thinner needles can be used for patients that have a needle phobia or who are more sensitive to sensation than others.
Remember, acupuncture should only be performed by a qualified acupuncturist. In Australia, your acupuncturist needs to be registered with the national Chinese Medicine Registration Board (CBMA) and be a member of the Chinese medicine professional association AACMA.
The art of cupping has a long history of being used for therapeutic reasons in Asia, Europe and North America. Many Greeks and Italians may remember their grandparents having an old set of cups and many Asian nationalities know what it's like to be cupped at home by a parent or grandparent.
Cupping is believed to have originated from the idea of sucking out the poisons or a way of clearing evil energies from the body. An animal horn was used in ancient times but then progressed to bamboo cups and eventually glass cups were created.
Glass cups are most commonly used today and a flame is used to burn out the oxygen inside the cup forming a vacuum and allowing the cup to create suction when placed against the skin. The cups are then left in place on the body or the practitioner may slide the cup over a specific part of the body.
Cupping can leave marks on the body that look like bruises but are not like a true injury. In a person that has a lot of tension, there tends to be more colour than in a person with less tension. Ideally, treatment continues a few times until no more colour comes to the surface. Cupping is very comfortable when carried out by an experienced practitioner.
Lifestyle & Diet
Our lifestyle and dietary circumstances are incredibly important to our health as these are the ways in which your body is being treated on a daily basis. For instance, sitting at a desk and computer with poor posture and typing non-stop for hours at a time will no doubt lead to tension, perhaps pain and even more serious problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome or frozen shoulder.
However, having proper breaks, undertaking proper exercise and setting up a well designed workstation can offset these potential problems. Similarly, having a poor diet can eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies, weight gain and lethargy. Food choice may also exacerbate or decrease symptoms of disease.
Early in life, the body is stronger in terms of physical strength and digestive strength; therefore, strains and injuries are tolerated that may not be noticed as being a problem until much later in life. It is very important to know your individual strengths and weaknesses and make lifestyle and dietary decisions based on this information.
Chinese medicine goes one step further and recognises the influence of the seasons and natural phenomena, such as heat, wind and cold, which each affect the body in different ways.
Depending on your own constitution, you may be better off working in certain professions, avoiding certain climates or eating specific foods. Knowing what is right for you and understanding what is bad for you is imperative to good health on the emotional, mental and physical levels.
Sometimes some simple changes that become daily habits are all it takes to improve your health.
Learning simple exercises, altering foods eaten and using self-administered acupressure are easy ways in which your health can be influenced in a positive way on a daily basis.
Only see a fully qualified acupuncturist that is registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia as part of the Australian health regulatory body AHPRA; and a who is also a member of the Chinese medicine practitioner association AACMA.