With a small hamstring strain, lower back injury, shoulder strain and trying to fight the lurgy that was flying around I was keen to try something… anything! I remembered my osteo had previously told me about this fantastic organisation – Experienced Community Acupuncture – who provide 1 hour treatments for $25 with experienced acupuncturists.

Experienced Community Acupuncture (ECA) is passionate about making acupuncture accessible to the general public. And I think that is a noble thing to do. My dad used to suffer from severe back pain after spending hours, alone all day at work, lifting and carrying heavy boxes. Acupuncture was the only thing that made a difference for him – but the cost of it was often a boundary.

ECA moves to different suburbs throughout the week making it even more accessible and at $25 a pop, what do you have to lose? Well, that’s what I thought… and I lost nothing. In fact, I gained an education into Chinese Medicine and it certainly helped to alleviate the pain in my body.

The needles didn’t necessarily hurt as they were inserted but I was told that there were quite strong blockages in certain areas due to the intensity of the ‘ache’ I would feel during some of the sessions. Particularly with anything related to my back. I’m looking forward to going again to see if these have cleared.

To bring to life acupuncture a little more Ray Ford from ECA has kindly answered a few questions which I hope will give you a clearer picture.

What is acupuncture?

The word acupuncture can be divided into two parts “acu” which means needle and puncture. Therefore acupuncture is the insertion of the tips of very fine sterile needles into the body at strategic sites.
What is qi and meridian channels?

Qi is the vital force that flows in the channels/meridians and enervates the body it is also translated as “vapor” suggesting an essence derived from food which supports, sustains and nourishes the body.
The channels OR meridians are energetic pathways that flow in set patterns within the human organism. The Chinese have identified and mapped the meridians for at least two thousand years.
 How do these affect our day to day lives?
Qi travels in the 12 main channels and does one complete cycle every 24 hours. Each channel has a high energetic “tide” of 2 hours.When there are problems, blockages or deficiencies it will often show up in the body at the time appropriate to the channel or organ involved.It may also show up in the opposite 12 hour period.An example is that people with a Liver disharmony often wake up between 1-3 am which is the high point of the Liver energy.
 Can you describe an acupuncture session

An acupuncture session involves the practitioner listening to the patient, looking at signs such as complexion and asking about symptoms.
The pulse is taken to assess disharmony and where it may be located, the tongue is observed to reveal the condition of the digestive and inner organs. The abdomen or other parts of the body may be palpated to check for restriction or tenderness.
 After this, a diagnosis can be made and acupuncture points will be chosen that are known to balance the particular imbalance/pain/injury that is present.
As acupuncture stimulates the body’s internal regulatory system, acupuncture points can stimulate a natural healing response without directly having to treat the site on an injury or imbalance. This is why points may be far away from the area involved in the injury /illness.

Why the use of needles? What effect does this actually have.

Needles are use because they are metal which have the effect of conducting the energy in the body, redirecting or unblocking it. Acupuncture has an advantage over manual systems that do not use needles in that with acupuncture we can combine several points at the same time.
How can someone be sure that their practitioner is good?

Practitioners must be a member of a recognized association that has standards of competency.
The public are entitled to ask the practitioner about their experience and qualifications so they can make an informed decision.
This may also be on their website if they have one, in other words look into a practitioners education,qualifications and experience.
Acupuncture is an acquired skill taking years to refine. Reading the classics or pulse diagnosis take time, dedication and application to master. By application I mean having the experience of actually performing many thousands of treatments to gain experience, this cannot be fudged, there are no short cuts.
Are there any risks?

In the hands of competent experienced and well trained practitioners acupuncture is a very safe procedure.
What are some of the results you have witnessed yourself?

I have witnessed breech babies turning many times. Prolapsed lumbar discs which were said to need surgery have moved back into place after acupuncture verified with MRI. Completely healing debilitating migraine headaches in some patients some of whom had been suffering for more than 20 years
Many cases of “infertility”  in women and men as diagnosed by western medicine have been “reversed” with acupuncture and resulted in numerous healthy children over the years.
Immune system disorders and allergies helped significantly
Debilitating neck, back, shoulder pain completely removed.
What is the history of acupuncture?

The History of Chinese Medicine in general goes back at least 4000 years and even as far back as the mythological Xia Dynasty. I think it is such as vast subject that cannot be answered in a question and answer format such as this. I think if I did that most of your readers would be asleep or in a deep trance. Some people have taken four years and obtained a PHD and only slightly answered this question so you can see its a very big topic. (I suggest a google search if you are keen to know more!)
Learning how to surrender with needles in you was a task in itself, but long term it definitely aided me in my healing process. If you are keen to try acupuncture visit Experience Community Acupuncture. My experience has been so positive and the practitioners are amazing, knowledgeable, gentle, kind and professional.
Saha to you,
Claire x


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