GP - Acupuncture

Acupuncture: from Latin, ‘acus’ (needle) + ‘punctura’ (to puncture)

Is one of the oldest medical treatments in existence, originating in China more than 2,500 years ago. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM ) philosophy promotes harmony between humans and the world around them.

Acupuncture has been part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the skin or applying various other techniques (for example low level laser light therapy) to the acupuncture points to restore balance and encourage the body to heal itself.

With the Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) explanation, the human body and soul also have two main forces known as Yin (cold) and Yang (warm). Life should be in balance in our body and in each organ. TCM believes that disease happens when the balance of these two forces is disrupted.

TCM believes that there are multiple channels throughout the human body (called meridians in TCM) that vital energy (Qi) flows through. Any imbalance and blockage in the flow of the energy will result in various diseases. This philosophy fits with the Western medical approach of blood, circulation and organ nourishment, but is just described differently. It is a concept that explains a vital energy or life force.

These channels are accessible by superficial points on the skin, of which there are more than 400 points. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations is believed to bring the energy flow back into proper balance.

Since acupuncture received recognition in Western Medicine, most of the theories explain the acupuncture effect by its influence on the nervous system. Studies have shown Acupuncture’s effect on nerve endings and the higher nervous center in the brain.

In the Western medical acupuncture approach, the GP makes a conventional diagnosis and considers acupuncture as a physiologically based, rational treatment alongside drugs, physical therapy and surgery.

Several years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an official report listing 31 symptoms, conditions and diseases that have been shown in controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture.

Following is a summarised, but quite diverse, list of conditions shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by Acupuncture:

- Low back pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Neck pain
- Osteoarthritis pain
- Tennis elbow
- Sciatica
- Knee pain
- Peri-arthritis of the shoulder
- Facial pain
- Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction
- Bell's palsy
- Menopausal symptoms
- Headache
- Nausea and vomiting Postoperative pain
- Essential hypertension
- Radiation/chemotherapy reactions
- Allergic rhinitis and hay fever

Medical Acupuncture, whether laser or needling, with an accredited GP, is rebatable via Medicare. There will be a gap fee charged and this will depend on the length of consult required