Acupuncture FAQ

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of medicine which has been used in China for the last 3000 years. Its’ effectiveness is now accepted in various countries including New Zealand.

Acupuncture aims at treating the person, along with the disease. This means that the acupuncturist looks at the patient as a whole, finds the cause of the illness and the imbalance in the body causing it. With its unique system of diagnosis, an acupuncturist will ask not only details of the immediate problem, but also take a precise history of past illnesses, familial tendencies, and aim to determine a complete picture of the patients health. In this way acupuncture has always been used as a preventative medicine and can bring positive benefits to almost any illness.

What happens during the treatment?

Treatment by acupuncture consists of the insertion of fine needles into a few carefully selected points on the body. The number of needles used varies from two or three to ten or more, and they are left in place for an average of twenty minutes. The total number of treatments required depends on the patient and the condition being treated.

A typical treatment might include moxibustion (warming of the acupuncture needles), acupressure, Chinese herbal medicine and dietary advice and/or Chinese remedial exercise.

There is no age limit for treatment. It is important to advise the practitioner if you are pregnant but pregnancy does not preclude acupuncture or its benefits. Babies and children may be treated with acupressure in lieu of the use of needles.

Needle sterilisation practiced by registered acupuncturists complies with standards set by the ‘New Zealand Department of Health. Please inform your practitioner if there is any possibility that you are pregnant, have a history diabetes, heart disease, hemophilia, epilepsy, seizures, hepatitis, HIV, skin diseases or other medical conditions.

Will it hurt?

Most new patients are amazed how painless acupuncture can be. However, when the correct stimulus of the needle has been obtained the patient may feel some heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation either around the needle or travelling up or down the affected energy pathway or meridian.

What should I do after a treatment?

Acupuncture changes the state of energy of the body, affecting nerves and blood vessells as well as the tone within the muscles. It is best to avoid heavy physical activity following a treatment. Avoidance of alcohol is also recommended.

When can I expect an improvement?

Occasionally you may notice a brief worsening of the symptoms prior to an improvement. More commonly there is relief from the first or second treatment and this is consolidated with progressive treatments.

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