Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of complaints and to maintain wellbeing.
How does it work and what effects does it have?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself. No one really knows what mechanisms are involved, but there has been much research to show the effects on the body. Acupuncture increases endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid – showing that the body has manufactured its own ‘opiates’ for pain relief and healing. There are changes in temperature and muscle tone. Generally there is a ‘normalising’ effect so that if a person is tense they will relax and a person who is lethargic will feel more energised.
Many people can reduce or stop their medications as symptoms resolve.
In the past many attributed the benefits of acupuncture to ‘placebo’ or a belief the procedure will work rather that the procedure itself. However acupuncture heals anyone including those who don’t ‘believe’ in acupuncture such as animals. The top race horse trainers use acupuncture to heal their horses faster and without drugs or their side effects..
Who would benefit?
Just about anyone will feel better after acupuncture. Some people like to use it for relaxation.
What conditions can be treated?
- Acupuncture has been shown to help with many conditions including:
- Acute and chronic pain such as neck pain and back pain
- Muscle and tendon injuries
- Headaches, sinusitis, hay fever,
- Depression and anxiety and stress
- Addictions such as smoking
- Weight loss
- Morning sickness – very safe, no drugs and usually the nausea stops within a few sessions
- Period pain
Japanese acupuncture is very gentle and usually painless. In fact many people say they can’t feel the very fine needles being inserted. Sometimes sensations such as tingling or numbness may be felt but this is not painful.
For best results patients should be warm, comfortable not hungry. Treatment usually takes between thirty minutes and an hour.
Number of sessions
Generally the number of sessions depends on the nature of the condition, the severity and how long you have had it. For example morning sickness is often resolved in 2-4 sessions. Some people are ‘strong responders’ or sensitive and feel immediate relief after the first sessions, others take more sessions. Most conditions require about ten sessions before significant relief is required. For ongoing conditions such as degenerative arthritis, after the initial sessions follow up periods of a few sessions may be used to maintain relief.
What to expect
The initial consultation consists of an assessment of your condition and/or the reasons you want to have acupuncture. You are then made comfortable and the needles are inserted. Lesely uses a holistic approach so the needles will be inserted into or near a painful area, but points may also be given for relaxation, swelling, for your immune system etc.
Acupuncture is very safe and there are no side effects. We use single use, disposable sterile needles. Precautions are taken for those who are on blood thinners or are pregnant. It is alright to have acupuncture if you are on medication, in fact there was a study (see below) that acupuncture may act as an adjunct to or be better than medication in treating depression.
Lesley is trained in Chinese and Japanese acupuncture and has been practicing acupuncture since 1994.
- Initial session is $75.00
- Subsequent Sessions are $65.00
- Health Fund rebates may apply,
- Hicaps & Eftpos
Acupuncture to treat depression
Summary of university of technology research
The subjects in the study were diagnosed as experiencing an episode of major depression. They were also prescribed and taking antidepressants called Serotonin Selective Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). This means the subjects where people who, despite taking medication for their depression, were still experiencing significant levels of depression.
Subjects in the acupuncture intervention group received the acupuncture treatment and continued taking their prescribed SSRIs for an 8 week treatment program. Those in the acupuncture intervention group were then compared to a wait list control group in which subjects continued to take the medication (with no acupuncture) over an 8 week period.
Those who continued to only take their prescribed SSRI antidepressant medication and did not have acupuncture demonstrated no significant change in their levels of depression.
- Acupuncture is effective in treating depression when it used as an adjunct therapy to SSRI antidepressants.
- Males and females who took SSRI antidepressants experienced similarly significant rates of reduction in their level of depression as a result of the acupuncture treatment.
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