Where did Acupuncture originate?



Acupuncture originates form China forming an integral part of Chinese medicine going back over 5,000 years making it one of the oldest known forms of medicine. For the Chinese illness/injury is a disharmony of the body and treatment aims to restore harmony. The theory is the body has a web of meridians, which are channels of energy connecting all bodily organs and tissue along invisible lines. The meridians transport the “qi” (pronounced “che”) which is life force throughout the body. If you are feeling weak or lethargic, this is seen as a sign that your qi needs boosting. Acupuncture stimulates the meridians using special needles to help keep that all-essential qi flowing.  Thousands of years ago sharp stones, bamboo and even fish bones were used as needles.  Thankfully today we use specifically designed hair thin needles made of metal.


Acupuncture gained attention in the Western World when American President Nixon visited China in 1972. Travelling with Nixon on this trip was New York Times reporter -James Reston.  James received acupuncture while in China after undergoing an emergency removal of his appendix.  Reston was so impressed with the post-operative pain relief he experienced from the procedure that he wrote about acupuncture upon returning to the United States.  This attracted great interest in America and Europe and renewed interest in this form of treatment and acupuncture is now commonplace as an adjunct to western medicine.


There are many theories regarding how acupuncture aids pain relief.  One of these is that stimulated nerve fibres transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, then releasing hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health.  In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold.  Acupuncture also increases blood circulation and it is this attribute which aids the body in healing.


Acupuncture is not only used for pain, it is also used in the treatment of addiction such as smoking.  Needles are inserted into a series of acupuncture points around the body for approximately 20 minutes for 1-2 sessions.  Often ear acupressure points are used for 1-2 days thereafter.  A small metal bead is applied with adhesive tape to a specific point on the ear which the patient can then press should they experience the urge to smoke.


Dry needling is a form of acupuncture where fine acupuncture needles are used to release tight bands in muscles.  Rather than using points along the meridians the needles are inserted into the “knots” in the muscles.  It is a highly effective treatment and patients will often specifically request it due to its effectiveness.


Acupuncture is used for a variety of conditions:

  • Muscle/Joint pain or stiffness
  • Neck/back pain
  • Headaches
  • Sinus
  • Nausea
  • Fertility
  • General well being
  • Sports Injuries
  • Smoking Cessation