Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture, located within the broader field of Chinese Medicine, is part of an extensive and complex system of theory and practice that has been developed over more than two thousand years. Drawing on a wide range of classical texts over the centuries eminent clinicians and theorists in China have formulated, modified, applied and further developed its theoretical understanding and clinical approach to the treatment of illness and the maintenance of well-being.

The holistic perspective of acupuncture is based on the idea that no single part can be understood except in its relation to the whole. A symptom must be viewed as part of the totality of the person’s entire bodily pattern, as well as the person’s place in an often complex material and psychological-emotional world. The logic of Chinese medicine is synthetic, attempting to organize symptoms and signs into understandable configurations or ‘patterns of disharmony’. Understanding and interpreting these configurations and patterns provides the basis for intervention and treatment.

The pathway for treatment in acupuncture is via the meridian system. According to the theory of Chinese Medicine, each organ of the body has an associated meridian. These are conduits or ‘channels’ of energy that relate to, communicate with, and influence various organs as well as other distinctive areas of the body. Although not visible to the naked eye, from the Chinese Medical perspective, the meridian system forms a functional network that parallels the nervous and circulatory systems described in Western physiology. The medium for activity in the meridian system is Qi, or ‘energy’, regarded as the fundamental ‘stuff’ which animates life.

The insertion of fine needles into selected points on meridians acts to stimulate the movement of Qi in order to bring about particular effects, such as regulating organ function or restoring circulation to injured areas, thus reducing pain and facilitating healing. For example, the Large Intestine meridian begins at the tip of the index finger, travels up the arm, across the shoulder, the lateral aspect of the neck and face and terminates beside the nose. Stimulating points on the meridian can improve the function of the large intestine organ. At the same time specific points can also be used to treat local problems along the meridian pathway, such as problems of the hand, elbow and shoulder, or problems affecting the nose, face and head (eg. headache, toothache and sinusitis).

Kerry Carmody - Acupuncturist
Marienne Cox - Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal Medicine