What is acupuncture?


Acupuncture 1Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - a comprehensive system of health care with a history of over 3000 years. According to TCM theory, human body has 14 channels called meridians. Meridians form a network along the body that carries a universal life energy called Qi. TCM theory believes that Qi can be enhanced, improved and nourished. Along the meridians, there are many points called acu-points. Each acu-point may be considered as a switch that controls the flow of energy. Malfunction of these switches may result in blockage of energy flow. TCM theory believes that illnesses are the result of meridian blockage which causes disruption of the flow of Qi. Regulating (stimulating) acu-points can unblock the meridians.


WHAT can be treated?


According to World Health Organization (WHO), the health conditions that may be treated with acupuncture include:

In addition, other commonly treated problems include asthma, cold and flu, chemo and radiation therapy side effects, nicotine and drug withdrawal symptoms.

How does it work?


Acupuncture works by inserting fine needles into specific acu-points, by stimulating these points, by opening the blockage, and by eliminating the symptoms. As a system of healing, acupuncture helps the body speed up its self-healing process. It not only helps to eliminate the symptoms, but also works towards the restoration of harmony and balance in the body, mind and spirit of the patient; therefore, to achieve his/her physical, mental and social well-being. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a Consensus Statement on acupuncture. The statement indicated that "There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture's value to expand its use into conventional medicine".


How often is it needed?


Acupuncture 2Depending on the type of the illness and the condition of the patient, acupuncture treatment varies in frequency and length. Each patient usually requires a unique plan. The rule of thumb is that acute conditions are usually scheduled as several short-spanned sessions. Chronic problems, on the other hand, usually take at least one course (10 sessions) of treatment. The acupuncturist will reassess the patient’s progress after each treatment course to make further recommendation.


Patients should carefully follow the treatment plan once it is set up and scheduled. It is important for the patients to report to the acupuncturist their response to the treatment before each session. This will help the acupuncturist gauge the necessity to make adjustment in the treatment plan, and to make further recommendation. For best result, the time span between two consecutive sessions is ideally 2 to 5 days. Longer delay between treatment sessions is likely to slow down the recovery process of the patients.