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Toowoomba Acupuncturist Discusses Acupuncture in Toowoomba

My name is Louis Gordon and I am an acupuncturist. I practice acupuncture from ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic in Middle Ridge, Toowoomba, 4350, Queensland, Australia. Just as fresh clean water bubbling up from a natural well is vital to sustain life … my WELLNESS information will help YOU to sustain a healthy vibrant life beaming with optimal wellness. Call for more information on (07) 4636 6100.

MISSION STATEMENT: “I aim to get my patients as WELL as possible, as quickly as possible, and then to keep them WELL”.

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Expert Toowoomba Acupuncturist Discusses how Acupuncture in Toowoomba Could be the Solution to Your Medical Condition 

Hippocrates once said, “Illnesses do not come upon us out of the blue. They are developed from small daily sins against Nature. When enough sins have accumulated, illnesses will suddenly appear.”

This has been the paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners for thousands of years. It is for this reason that TCM practitioners are able to evaluate the symptoms of the patient and determine what the underlying major cause of the problem is. Once the root cause of the medical condition has been determined, a comprehensive Management Plan can be derived to manage the condition, initially to prevent symptoms from getting worse. The eventual aim is to suggest lifestyle changes to prevent the condition from getting worse. Faulty lifestyle practices and habits are ascertained by leading questions. Often the answer to a surprisingly simple question can be very revealing. For example, when a patient says they hate summer, it often indicates that their medical condition has a large element of “fire” or heat associated with it, or from a western medical terminology “inflammation”, which is often exacerbated in the hot weather conditions of summer.

For many individuals medical conditions associated with poor digestion and gut dysbiosis are from eating too many of the wrong foods for their specific constitution and genetic makeup. Another problem that often arises is the consumption of excessive amounts of icy-cold food often dairy food including ice cream that cause a stuck phlegm condition. Also the consuming of too many icy cold drinks can cause many conditions to result including faulty digestion and headache.

But let me get to the “nitty-gritty” of Acupuncture and how an acupuncturist will proceed to treat your medical condition.

Acupuncture-treatment-with-woman-relaxing

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of energy (qi) through channels known as meridians.

Current scientific research indicates that traditional forms of acupuncture are more effective than placebos in the relief of certain types of pain and post-operative nausea.

Acupuncture’s use for certain conditions has been endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, the World Health Organization, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles and carries a very low risk of serious adverse effects.

Acupuncture Theory

The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by an energy called qi which flows through the body; disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture describes a family of procedures aiming to correct imbalances in the flow of qi by stimulation of anatomical locations on or under the skin (usually called acupuncture points or acupoints), by a variety of techniques. The most common mechanism of stimulation of acupuncture points employs penetration of the skin by thin metal needles, which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation.

Qi, meridians and acupuncture points

To fulfil its functions, qi has to steadily flow from the inside of the body (where the zang-fu organs are located) to the “superficial” body tissues of the skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and joints. It is assisted in its flow by “channels” referred to as meridians (jing-luo). TCM identifies 12 “regular” and 8 “extraordinary” meridians. There are also a number of less customary channels branching off from the “regular” meridians. The meridians are believed to connect to the bodily organs, of which those considered hollow organs (such as the stomach and intestines) were also considered yang while those considered solid (such as the liver and lungs) were considered yin.

Acupuncture points are mainly (but not always) found at specified locations along the meridians. There also are a number of acupuncture points with specified locations outside of the meridians; these are called “extraordinary” points and often credited with special therapeutic properties. A third category of acupuncture points called “Ah-shi” points have no fixed location but represent tender or reflexive points appearing in the course of pain syndromes.

TCM Acupuncture Concept of Disease

In TCM, disease is generally perceived as a disharmony (or imbalance) in the functions or interactions of yin, yang, qi, xuĕ, zàng-fǔ, meridians etc. and/or of the interaction between the human body and the environment. Therapy is based on which “pattern of disharmony” can be identified. In the case of the meridians, typical disease patterns are invasions with wind, cold and damp Excesses.

In order to determine which pattern is at hand, practitioners will examine things like the colour and shape of the tongue, the relative strength of pulse-points, the smell of the breath, the quality of breathing or the sound of the voice.

TCM and its concept of disease do not strongly differentiate between cause and effect. In theory, however, endogenous, exogenous and miscellaneous causes of disease are recognized.

Traditional Acupuncture Diagnosis

The acupuncturist decides which points to treat by observing and questioning the patient in order to make a diagnosis according to the tradition which he or she utilizes. In TCM, there are four diagnostic methods: inspection, auscultation and olfaction, inquiring, and palpation.

  • Inspection focuses on the face and particularly on the tongue, including analysis of the tongue size, shape, tension, colour and coating, and the absence or presence of teeth marks around the edge.
  • Auscultation and olfaction refer, respectively, to listening for particular sounds (such as wheezing) and attending to body odour.
  • Inquiring focuses on the “seven inquiries”, which are: chills and fever; perspiration; appetite, thirst and taste; defecation and urination; pain; sleep; and menses and leucorrhoea.
  • Palpation includes feeling the body for tender Ah-shi points, and palpation of the left and right radial pulses.

Tongue and pulse diagnosis

Examination of the tongue and the pulse are among the principal diagnostic methods in TCM. Certain sectors of the tongue’s surface are believed to correspond to the zàng-fŭ. For example, teeth marks on one part of the tongue might indicate a problem with the Heart, while teeth marks on another part of the tongue might indicate a problem with the Liver.

Pulse palpation involves measuring the pulse both at a superficial and at a deep level at three different locations on the radial artery (Cun, Guan, Chi, located two fingerbreadths from the wrist crease, one fingerbreadth from the wrist crease, and right at the wrist crease, respectively, usually palpated with the index, middle and ring finger) of each arm, for a total of twelve pulses, all of which are thought to correspond with certain zàng-fŭ. The pulse is examined for several characteristics including rhythm, strength and volume, and described with qualities like “floating, slippery, bolstering-like, feeble, thready and quick”; each of these qualities indicate certain disease patterns. Learning TCM pulse diagnosis can take several years.

Acupuncture Clinical Practice

In a modern acupuncture session, an initial consultation is followed by taking the pulse on both arms, and an inspection of the tongue. Classically, in clinical practice, acupuncture is highly Acupuncture treatment with woman relaxingindividualized and based on philosophy and intuition, and not on controlled scientific research. Acupuncture treatments typically lasts from 10 to 60 minutes, with diagnosis and treatment for a single session.

Clinical practice varies depending on the country. A comparison of the average number of patients treated per hour found significant differences between China (10) and the United States (1.2). Acupuncture is used to treat various types of pain, neurological problems and stroke rehabilitation. Studies conducted in China and Brazil found that the majority of patients were female, though in one study the majority of Chinese patients using acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation were male.

Acupuncture Needles

Acupuncture needles are typically made of stainless steel wire. They are usually disposable, but reusable needles are sometimes used as well, though they must be sterilized between uses. Needles vary in length between 13 to 130 millimetres (0.51 to 5.1 in), with shorter needles used near the face and eyes, and longer needles in more fleshy areas; needle diameters vary from 0.16 mm (0.006 in) to 0.46 mm (0.018 in), with thicker needles used on more robust patients. Thinner needles may be flexible and require tubes for insertion. The tip of the needle should not be made too sharp to prevent breakage, although blunt needles cause more pain.

Apart from the usual filiform needle, there are also other needle types which can be utilized, such as three-edged needles and the Nine Ancient Needles. Japanese acupuncturists use extremely thin needles that are used superficially, sometimes without penetrating the skin, and surrounded by a guide tube (a technique adopted in China and the West). Korean acupuncture uses copper needles and has a greater focus on the hand.

Acupuncture Needling Insertion Technique

Since most pain is felt in the superficial layers of the skin, a quick insertion of the needle is recommended. If skilled enough, a practitioner purportedly can insert the needles without causing any pain. Both peer-reviewed medical journals, and acupuncture journals reviewed by acupuncturists, have published on the painfulness of acupuncture treatments, in some cases within the context of reporting studies testing acupuncture’s effectiveness. A peer-reviewed medical journal on pain published an article stating that “acupuncture is a painful and unpleasant treatment”. There are other cases in which patients have found the insertion of needles in acupuncture too painful to endure. An acupuncture journal, peer-reviewed by acupuncturists, published an article describing insertion of needles in TCM acupuncture and random needling acupuncture as “painful stimulation”. In a peer-reviewed medical journal, one medical scientist published that Japanese acupuncture is “far less painful” than Chinese acupuncture, and that Japanese acupuncture needles are smaller than Chinese acupuncture needles.

Acupuncture De-qi Sensation

De-qi (“arrival of qi”) refers to a sensation of numbness, distension, or electrical tingling at the needling site which might radiate along the corresponding meridian. If de-qi cannot be generated, inaccurate location of the acupoint, improper depth of needle insertion, inadequate manual manipulation, or a very weak constitution of the patient have to be considered, all of which are thought to decrease the likelihood of successful treatment. If the de-qi sensation doesn’t immediately occur upon needle insertion, various manual manipulation techniques can be applied to promote it (such as “plucking”, “shaking” or “trembling”).

Once de-qi is achieved, further techniques might be utilized which aim to “influence” the de-qi; for example, by certain manipulation the de-qi sensation allegedly can be conducted from the needling site towards more distant sites of the body. Other techniques aim at “tonifying” or “sedating” qi. The former techniques are used in deficiency patterns, the latter in excess patterns.

De qi is more important in Chinese acupuncture, while Western and Japanese patients may not consider it a necessary part of the treatment.

Acupuncture-Related Practices

Acupressure (a blend of “acupuncture” and “pressure”) uses physical pressure applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices.

Moxibustion – Acupuncture is often accompanied by moxibustion, the burning of cone-shaped preparations of mugwort on or near the skin, often but not always near or on an acupuncture point. Traditionally acupuncture was used to treat acute conditions while moxibustion was used for chronic diseases. Moxibustion could be direct (the cone was placed directly on the skin and allowed to burn the skin producing a blister and eventually a scar), or indirect (either a cone of mugwort was placed on a slice of garlic, ginger or other vegetable, or a cylinder of mugwort was held above the skin, close enough to either warm or burn it).

Fire cupping is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) and glass or bamboo jars.

Tuina is a TCM method of attempting to stimulate the flow of qi by various bare handed techniques that do not involve needles.

Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture in which acupuncture needles are attached to a device that generates continuous electric pulses. Another term is percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Sonopuncture or acutonics is a stimulation of the body similar to acupuncture, but using sound instead of needles. This may be done using purpose-built transducers to direct a narrow ultrasound beam to a depth of 6–8 centimetres at acupuncture meridian points on the body. Alternatively, tuning forks or other sound emitting devices are used.

Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy (APIT) is the injection of sterile isotonic (0.85%) saline solution into acupuncture point.

Ear acupuncture is a form of acupuncture developed in France which is based on the reflexological representation of the entire body in the outer ear.

Scalp acupuncture is likewise based on reflexological considerations regarding the scalp area; it has been developed in Japan.

Hand acupuncture similarly centres around assumed reflex zones of the hand; it has been developed in Korea.

Medical acupuncture tries to integrate reflexological concepts, the trigger point model, and anatomical insights (such as dermatome distribution) into acupuncture practice, and emphasizes a more formulaic approach to acupuncture point location.

Cosmetic acupuncture is the use of acupuncture in an attempt to reduce wrinkles on the face.

Qualified Acupuncturists in Australia

Acupuncture became a health profession, and was nationally registered through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) in July 2012. Before that, Victoria was the only State in Australia with an official government registration board for acupuncture. In 2012 the Chinese Medicine Board of Victoria (CMBV) became the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA), and is currently in the process of establishing accreditation arrangements for the profession in partnership with AHPRA. If an acupuncturist is not registered by AHPRA, they are breaking the law.

My AHPRA Registration Number is CMR0001717120

To check to see if an Acupuncturist is legally registered with AHPRA on the Registers of Practitioners please see this link:

http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx

Much of the material above was extracted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture

For further information or to make an Acupuncture appointment at the Clinic in Middle Ridge, Toowoomba, QLD, 4350, call Linda on (07) 4636 6100.

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