How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals called "endorphins". These chemicals mimic morphine by attaching to opiate receptor sites found throughout the nervous system. Endorphins help to block pathways that relay pain messages from the body to the brain, resulting in relief of pain, general relaxation and biochemical restoration of the body's own internal regulation systems.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the body's natural healing abilities, reducing inflammation, and promoting physical and emotional well-being.
How many treatments will be required?
The number of treatments will vary with each individual and the condition being treated. For acute problems, only a few treatments may be required. In some cases, one treatment will be sufficient.
For complex or longstanding conditions, one or two treatments a week for several weeks may be recommended with less frequent treatment as improvement occurs. Relief may be immediate or occur within a few hours, or after a few days.
Do the needles hurt?
The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. Some people feel a little pain as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain at all. The needles are tiny, just a little larger than a cat's whisker or human hair.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except for feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
What should I expect during treatment?
Where the acupuncture needles have been inserted, you may experience vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. This is called the "Qi sensation". All these reactions are good and a sign that treatment is working. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
A Natural Way to Heal?
Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as effective in treating these conditions*:
• Neck and back pain
• Muscle tightness and spasm
• Joint stiffness and pain
• Tendon and ligament injury
• Knee pain
• Tennis elbow
• TMJ dysfunction
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
• Induction of labour
• Morning sickness
• Postoperative pain
• Female infertility/IVF support
• Weight Control
*WHO 2013, 'Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture', [Accessed