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Toowoomba Acupuncturist Discusses How Acupuncture May Work

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.

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Toowoomba Acupuncturist Discusses Acupuncture and How it May Work

Acupuncture is becoming an ever more popular natural therapy but how exactly does it work?  Read on to find out more about this amazing therapy.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture works by utilising specific points on the body that act as gateways into the body’s energy systems.  These points, when stimulated, allow the practitioner to correct imbalances and restore harmony, not only to the affected area, but to the body as a whole.  Acupuncture can be used to help improve a person’s natural healing abilities, to help with recovery from disease or illness and as a preventative measure in order to keep a person in good health.

Medically, acupuncture works by regulating the various systems in the body, such as the hormonal, nervous, immune, circulatory, respiratory, and muscular systems.  It appears that acupuncture stimulates specific nerve points throughout the body, with these points sending messages back to the brain, which then alters the pain and hormonal systems in response.

The Gate Control Theory of Pain

According to a theory known as the “gate control theory of pain”, pain signals must go through a number of high-traffic “gates” as they move from the area of injury up through the spinal cord into the brain.  These nerves can only handle a certain number of nerve signals at any one time and they travel slowly.  The body can generate other signals which move faster, crowding out the slower ones due to the limited number of signals that the nerves can carry.  By producing enough fast signals, the slower pain signals are crowded out.  Acupuncture creates this competing stimulus or fast signals and effectively blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain.

The Electrical Theory of Pain

Another theory known as the “electrical theory of pain” says that the body continually generates tiny but detectable electrical discharges.  This electrical field influences the growth, maturation, and functioning of some types of cells.  Studies have shown that acupuncture points are concentrated in areas of low electrical resistance, and that there is a correlation between the electromagnetic fields in the body and the energy channels or meridians.  The electrical theory of acupuncture therefore suggests that acupuncture works by influencing the body’s electromagnetic fields.  Acupuncture points have certain electrical properties and stimulating these points alters the chemical neurotransmitters in the body.

For more information on acupuncture or to make an appointment call ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic on (07) 4636 6100.


Acupuncture’s History

Acupuncture is one of the major components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has existed for thousands of years. But what exactly is the history of acupuncture?

The Evolution of Acupuncture

Acupuncture first came about during the Chou dynasty (1030BC to 221BC) of Chinese therapy, as a system of therapy that involved using needles on precise points of the body.  The points were derived from the philosophical concepts of humanity and its relationship to the natural environment.  The Warring States period (480BC to 221BC) is particularly important in the development of acupuncture’s history as it incorporated two major philosophical ideologies into mainstream Chinese thought – Confucianism and Daoism.

One main belief of Confucianism is of the sacrosanct completeness of the human body.  The Dao in Daoism literally means the “way” to integrating human beings with the forces of the natural world in a harmonious manner.  This is because the cyclic rhythm of these forces naturally balance and complement each other in order to create an environment that is favourable to life. The concepts of Chinese medicine that have been derived from Daoism maintain that it is necessary for the regulation of each person’s essential bodily processes to line up with the need for natural harmony.

Acupuncture, a way of treating internal conditions using an external means, evolved as a vital and needed addition to these beliefs.  Fundamental to both acupuncture and Chinese philosophy is energy called Qi, and pronounced “chee” as in cheese.  This energy flows along pathways near the surface of the skin according to a diurnal cycle, and each pathway of energy corresponds to a particular organ.  Acupuncture points are specific locations on the pathway that may be needled in order to affect the balance of the energy it contains and thereby regulate the function of the corresponding organ.

Acupuncture over the Centuries

Over the centuries, acupuncture and Chinese medicine have evolved, as new ideas and new schools of thought have been discussed.  Chinese medicine spread to neighbouring countries, especially Japan, Korea and Vietnam, and each country developed certain aspects of theory and practice which distinguish them from current Chinese approaches.  There have been national schools and government exams over the last 1,000 years in China but there were also many private schools and family secrets were passed along from generation to generation.

Acupuncture in the 20th Century

It was only in the 20th century that Chinese medicine faced its greatest challenges.  In the 1920’s to 1940’s, during the Nationalist vs. Communist civil war, Western medicine was embraced by both sides of the dispute.  In 1949, the Communists took control of China, and Mao, the president, banned acupuncture at first.  By 1954, Mao realised that Western medicine was not capable of reaching the entire Chinese population, so he ordered that four schools of Chinese medicine be created.  These schools were required to excise all spiritual, pagan and esoteric material from their curriculum, and the schools became the backbone of modern Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture Today

Currently, both Western and Chinese scientists are researching the scientific basis of acupuncture.  Though the exact workings of acupuncture are not understood from a Western viewpoint, traditional acupuncture remains an effective modality that is distinct from all others in its unique philosophical and physiological understanding of life.

For more information on acupuncture or to make an appointment call ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic on (07) 4636 6100.


Acupuncture Points

Acupuncture is a therapy that makes use of fine needles being inserted into acupuncture points in order to re-establish correct energy flow through the body’s meridians and to clear any energy blockages, which may cause illness or imbalance within the body.  But what exactly are acupuncture points?

What are Acupuncture Points?

Acupuncture points or acupoints are locations on the body that are treated using acupuncture, acupressure, sonopuncture or laser acupuncture during treatment sessions.  There are several hundred acupuncture points that are distributed along meridians (or energy pathways) within the body as well as many other “extra points” that are not associated with a particular meridian.  The theory behind these acupuncture points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system in order to bring relief by rebalancing the yin, yang, and qi in the body.

The acupuncture points are located using a measurement unit called the “cun” that is calibrated according to their proportional distances from various landmark points on the body of the patient.  There are nearly 400 basic acupuncture points, and some points are considered more therapeutically valuable than others.  The points are referred to either by their traditional name or by the name of the meridian on which they are located, followed by a number to indicate what order the point is on the meridian.  For example, one common point on the hand is called “hegu” and it is referred to as LI 4, meaning that it is the fourth point on the large intestine meridian.

Traditional Uses for Common Acupuncture Points

While there are many acupuncture points, there are some commonly-used ones.  These include:

Large Intestine Meridian, point #4 of 20: LI4, Hegu: this is located on the back of the hand between the thumb and the index finger.  It is mainly used to relieve pain and to treat constipation or other bowel disorders, but it is also used in the treatment of inflammatory and feverish diseases that have symptoms in the throat and head, as the large intestine meridian runs from the hand to the face.

Lung Meridian, point #7 of 11: LU7, Lieque: this point is located above the wrist on the inside of the arm and it is used to treat disorders of the upper body including headaches, neck stiffness, coughs, asthma, sore throats, facial paralysis, and wrist problems.

Stomach Meridian, point #36 of 45: ST36, Zusanli: this point is located on the front of the leg, just below the knee, and is used to help with digestive disorders such as nausea and vomiting, as well as general weakness.

Spleen Meridian, point #6 of 21: SP6, Sanyinjiao: this point is located on the inner side of the leg just above the ankle, and although on the spleen meridian, which is useful for treating digestive disorders, it can also help with hormonal disorders, and immune disorders.

Gallbladder Meridian, point #20 of 44: GB20, Fengchi: this point is located at the base of the skull where it joins the neck and is used in the treatment of acute disorders such as colds, flu, headache, neck pain, and fever.  It also lowers blood pressure and relaxes tension in the area of the eyes.

Liver Meridian, point #3 of 14: LV3, Taichong: this point is located on the top of the foot between the first and second toes and is useful for balancing emotional energy, regulating menstruation, reducing tension and pressure in the chest, treating eye disorders, alleviating headaches, and reducing high blood pressure.

Pericardium Meridian, point #6 of 9: PC6, Neiguan: this point is located on the inner arm just above the wrist and it is useful for cardiac disorders, nausea, vomiting, spasms, and convulsions.

Heart Meridian, point #7 of 9: HT7, Shenmen: this point is located on the outer side of the wrist and is used for a range of mental disorders such as absent mindedness, insomnia, disturbing dreams, hysteria, depression, agitation, and mental illness, as well as for the treatment of heart disease and fatigue.

Urinary Bladder Meridian point #40 of 67: BL40, Weizhong: this point is located at the back of the knee and is used for the treatment of back pain, hip impairment, muscular atrophy, leg pain and immobility, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as much more.

Kidney Meridian, point #3 of 27: KI3, Taixi: this point is located just behind the inner ankle and is used for several disorders in the body including sore throat, toothache, deafness, tinnitus, dizziness, asthma, thirst, insomnia, impotence, frequent urination, lower back pain, and menstrual irregularities.

Triple Burner Meridian, point #5 of 23: TB5, Waiguan: the triple burner is a special type of organ system that spans the torso and this point is located on the outer side of the arm above the wrist.  It is used for disorders of the fingers, hand, arm, neck, ears, cheek, and the top of the head.

Small Intestine Meridian, point #3 of 19: SI3, Houxi: this point is located at the side of the hand below the little finger and it is used for treating mental disorders, stiffness and pain in the neck, chest and lumbar region, seizures, night sweats, and fevers.

Governing Vessel, point #20 of 28: GV20, Baihui: this point is located at the top of the head and it traditionally used in the treatment of various mental disorders as well as for problems that occur in the head.  It is also used to treat prolapse.

Conception Vessel, point #4 of 24: CV4, Guanyuan: this point is located below the navel and is used for all types of lower abdominal disorders such as urination problems, hernia, menstrual disorders, gynaecological infections, diarrhea, rectal prolapse and so on.

For more information on acupuncture or to make an appointment call ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic on (07) 4636 6100.



Accupuncture, Acupunture or Accupunture common misspelling

Note that “Acupuncture” is often misspelt as accupuncture, acupunture or accupunture, that is with either too many c’s or not enough c’s. I would love to be able to clear up this very common spelling mistake, and set the record straight.

Ac·u·punc·ture – pronounced ak-yoo-puhngk-cher; Origin: 1675–85; < Latin acū with a needle (ablative of acus  needle) or acu- (as combining form of acus ) + puncture.


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