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A Guide To The Types Of Acupuncture

What Style Of Acupuncture Treatment Is Best For You?

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese Medicine commonly used to assist with pain relief and help restore health. Needles are inserted into specific points of the body to stimulate the energy, known as “Qi” (life energy). The body needs an adequate supply of Qi in order to maintain balance and harmony and to avoid disease or illness. Stress, overwork, poor diet and disease are some of the factors that can affect a person’s Qi. Practitioners look carefully for these signs as well as taking into account medical history, pulse and look of tongue.

Acupuncture

Different Types of Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine is the most common practice of acupuncture. Coupled with Chinese herbs, treatment is developed based on eight principles including cold/hot, internal/external, excess/deficiency and yin/yang. It also incorporates the five element theory that assumes the human body is a combination of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements need to be balanced in order to experience good health.
Acupuncturists will develop a treatment plan based on findings from questioning, observation, pulse evaluation and examination of the tongue. Based on diagnosis, treatment can include herbs, electro-acupuncture, nutrition, moxibustion, gua sha and cupping.

Helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions, some of which include:
  • Rheumatoid & Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic headaches
  • Colds
  • Insomnia & Fatigue
  • Skin disorders
  • Stress, anxiety & depression
  • Allergies

Japanese Acupuncture
Japanese acupuncture uses minimal amounts of stimulation to obtain greater amounts of change in the body. This includes using thinner and fewer needles, less acupuncture points and shallower needle insertion. Abdominal palpation and other diagnostic tools are also used to diagnose the imbalance and design treatment plan.

Helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions, some of which include:
  • Fatigue or insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Knee & back pain
  • Nausea
  • Strains, sprains & bruises

Korean Hand Acupuncture
Korean acupuncture focuses on targeting specific points in the hand that can treat the entire body. Alternative techniques such as using herbs to warm acupuncture points, cupping and acupressure are also used by Korean acupuncturists.

Helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions, some of which include:
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Upper & lower back pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Coughs
  • Eczema

Auricular Acupuncture
Auricular acupuncture involves treatment in the ear as it is seen as the main part of the body with points that connect to major organs. Very fine needles, ear seeds or ear tacks are placed on various points on the ear to stimulate certain parts of the body being affected by toxins, allergies, brain function and mood disorders. This is often used in conjunction with other acupuncture styles.

Helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions, some of which include:
  • Anxiety, insomnia & depression
  • Muscle strain or sprain
  • Headache & migraine
  • Arthritis
  • Addictions
  • Allergies

Scalp Acupuncture
Much like Auricular, Scalp acupuncture involves treating the scalp by inserting fine needles into specific trigger points. This style can be helpful in the treatment of motor-impairment and spinal conditions.

Helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions, some of which include:
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Stroke
  • Autism
  • Traumatic brain injury

Non-Insertion Acupuncture
This style of acupuncture is great for people who don’t particularly like needles as it uses blunt needles made of silver or platinum that stimulates trigger points on the body just by touching them. It is a gentle but very effective treatment that can remove blockages and enhance energy circulation at the deepest levels in the body. Cupping or Moxibustion can also be used with this style.

Helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions, some of which include:
  • Headaches & migraines
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Colds

Cupping
Cupping is used when Qi is blocked in certain areas or if it needs to be drawn to the surface of the body. Suction from the cups on the surface of the skin stimulates the blood flow in that area, relieves blockage and inflammation in muscles and opens up pathways to eliminate toxins. Cupping can treat various conditions that include, cold and flu, digestive issues, upper respiratory problems, arthritic pain, muscular pain and heachaches.

Helpful in the treatment of:
  • Arthritis & fibromyalgia
  • Eczema
  • Coughs
  • Migraines
  • Blood disorders
  • Anxiety & depression

Moxibustion
Moxibustion is a particular form of heat therapy. This style involves burning mugwart, which is a spongy herb that can warm specific trigger points on the body. Heat combined with the herb stimulates circulation and enhances the flow of Qi. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with acupuncture and can assist in treating insomnia, anxiety, pain management, digestive disorders and respiratory conditions.

Helpful in the treatment of:
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Colds
  • Muscle inflammation EG: Tendinitis
  • Menstrual conditions

Acupuncture Vs Dry Needling

Both acupuncture and dry needling provide relief from pain stemming from injuries. Whilst acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice, which involves redirecting the flow of Qi in order to relieve muscle pain, dry needling is more commonly associated with myofascial pain or dysfunction and can be administered by a range of health professionals including specifically-trained physiotherapists, acupuncturists and naturopaths.

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