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Guide to acupuncture


Like all forms of Chinese healing traditions, acupuncture revolves around the concept of maintaining balance and harmony within the body.

It is thought that when chi (life energy) becomes stagnant and the flow is disrupted, illness and disease result. In order to restore chi distribution, needles are inserted into acupuncture points along the meridians (energetic pathways) of the body. Due to the large number of potential acupuncture points, (there are in excess of 350 acupoints on the meridians of the body) an acupuncturist carefully selects the points to be used on the basis of:

  • pulse/tongue diagnosis
  • observation
  • examination
  • questioning

From the information garnered, the acupuncture points are determined and needles are inserted. The size of the needles is dependent on the area of the body where they are to be used. For example, longer, thicker needles are used in areas where there is more "cushioning" such as the buttocks, while small, thin needles are used where the flesh is thinner and closer to the bone. In either case, insertion of the needles is quick and virtually painless.

In some instances the needles are simply left in place, but more commonly, while inserted, the needles are gently moved using a rotating or pumping action. This frees the blockage and restores chi flow in the meridians, ultimately returning balance and healthy functioning to body systems and organs.

What can acupuncture treat?

Some of the conditions that accupuncture can help are:

  • allergies
  • arthritis and rheumatism
  • digestive problems
  • headaches and migraine
  • insomnia
  • morning sickness and labour pains
  • sinusitis

Cautions and Contraindications:

For most common ailments, acupuncture can be used safely, but should only be administered by a qualified practitioner who follows correct hygiene and sterilization procedures or uses disposable needles.

As with any treatment, the patient must be comfortable, mentally and physically with the course they have chosen. Therefore, if you are apprehensive about having needles inserted, you are probably best to avoid acupuncture therapy.


Now that you've explored acupuncture, can we suggest these informative guides:

Chinese Medicine Basics

The Causes

The Diagnosis

Yin & Yang


top of accupuncture


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Information provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering remedies.

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