Is there a point? 

Written by Janice Yip (Acupuncturist) & Gracia Anggraini (Physiotherapist) 

Acupuncture is a technique where ultra fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body. It aims to regulate the body and restore balance using Traditional Chinese Medicine theory. 

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The Origin

Acupuncture is generally believed to have originated from China with various discoveries dating back to 6000 BCE. The first document that described an organised system of diagnoses and treatment recognised today as acupuncture is dated from about 100 BCE. Here, the concepts of channels (meridians or conduits) in which the Qi (vital energy of life force) flowed are well established by this time. 

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The Belief

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi, pronounced “chee”) through the body that is responsible for overall health. When there is pathology in the body, it is believed to be due to a disruption of Qi. 

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The Research

Many scientific studies have focused on the way acupuncture affects the nervous system. In particular studies have shown that acupuncture can stimulate nerve endings and affect the body’s intrinsic pain inhibitory mechanism, thus, having an analgesic affect. 

Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches. 

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The Benefits

  • Pain management / Sports injuries
  • Gut health and digestion
  • Women’s health
  • Men’s health
  • Weight management
  • Stress management / emotional disorders
  • Skin conditions
  • Symptom management including headache, night sweating, poor sleep
  • Cosmetic acupuncture helps with toning and tightening of facial muscles, which in turns firm and lift sagging skin
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Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture when done by a licensed professional is considered generally safe. However, it has been linked to a small number of side effects mainly as a result of the use of nonsterile needles and poor therapy administration.

Before you book in to see an acupuncturist, ensure you check their qualifications and registration. In Australia, acupuncturists/Chinese Medicine Practitioners require a minimum of a Bachelor degree as well as be registered with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). 

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  1. National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2022, January 18). Acupuncture – In-depth [Blog Post]. Retrieved from 
  2. White, A. a. E., E.. (2004). A Brief History of Acupuncture. Rheumatology, 43(5), 662-663.