Chinese Medicine Consultancy

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Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points which have been found effective in the treatment of specific disorders. These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of 2000 years, forming part of the traditional Chinese medical system.
The short answer is no, it does not. But that does not mean you will not feel anything. In fact, for acupuncture to be effective, there must be some sensation. Most people quickly become used to the experience and actually enjoy it. If at any stage the sensation is uncomfortable you are encouraged to tell the practitioner and the sensation will be altered.
Imagine an energy flowing through pathways that are not your blood vessels or nervous tracts, a bit like an underground stream. When a needle is inserted, it contacts that energy flowing beneath the surface. When the needle contacts the Qi (‘vital energy’) there is a response. A tension is created and this transmits the varying sensations.
All needles used are pre-sterilised and individually packed and only used once. Once used, never used again.
Yes there are. Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, Great Britain and America. Shelley Beer practises Traditional Chinese Acupuncture within the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2015,  Shelley is using the balance method developed by Dr Tan for a much more dramatic effect with acupuncture. She can also accesses a more gentle style known as Japanese meridian therapy.

Neither acupuncture style is the same as medical acupuncture given by a doctor, nor dry needling performed by an unregistered or non-endorsed practitioner.  Since the passing of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009,  a practitioner must be registered in their own right, or endorsed by their own board if already registered in another discipline, to call themselves an acupuncturist (or Chinese herbalist).

( See http://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx to see if your practitioner is registered or endorsed by their  own Board) . Only qualified people can be registered or endorsed.) .

DO NOT ASSUME that anyone who uses acupuncture needles, is qualified or registered  – regardless of what they call it- e.g  needles,  dry needing or do not call it anything in particular.  Courses given in Australia range from as little as 6 hours for dry needling, 300 hours for medical doctors to get medicare rebates, through to four years for Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners (or five years for double CM degrees).

The first effect is usually a sense of euphoria, or well-being. Sometimes first time treatments can make the client feel so relaxed that they report a “spaced out feeling”. New or changed sleep patterns are a beneficial side effect. Sometimes chronic conditions can be stirred up a little and you may feel worse initially, before settling and improving very quickly . This is not as severe as the Naturopathic “healing crisis”. I liken this response to cleaning a fish tank. The water is all stirred up and looks worse before it settles and is clear. Any discomfort is transitory, and quite mild. The practitioner will let you know if your treatment is likely to have this reaction. The only side effect from using the Balance Method of acupuncture , is that the pain pain relief does not last. It needs to be repeated often for the brain to learn that the needle is not a noxious signal, and for the location fibres to remain switched on. (See below for more  detail – how does acupuncture work? )
Chinese medicine theory views the body as in integral whole that is connected internally to the exterior, by meridian pathways. Vital Substances (Qi) move through these pathways. The acupuncture needle stimulates a point on the surface of the body to communicate with the interior of the body. If the energy is too little, the stimulation builds it up, if it is too much or too fast or too slow, then the acupuncture is used to slow it, unblock it or speed up the Qi, according to need.

For acupuncture effect on moderating pain, it can be explained in another way, according to western physiology. Pain is registered by the brain through nerve receptors. When working correctly, one nerve fibre tells the brain that pain exists, the other nerve fibre tells the brain where the pain is. If both fibres are working correctly, then the brain releases chemicals that cascade though number of biochemical pathways- the effect being the release of the body’s own pain relief chemicals.  In chronic pain however, the fibre that locates the site of pain is switched off.  As the brain doesn’t know where the pain is, it can’t deliver its own pain relief.  Acupuncture works to switch the site signal back on so the brain delivers its’ own pain relief.

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Community acupuncture allows a number of people to be treated in turn in the same space, seated on chairs, so the cost is reduced for each participant. The community sessions are express, minimal talking, maximum sitting chilled !

Because Shelley Beer has had over 26 years experience she can quickly devise traditional Chinese treatments based on the presenting complaint. She may ask a few clarifying questions, inspect your tongue, or only look for tender points in areas that are suitable to treat  your reported pain sites. She will then decide the most appropriate points to use. Sitting on chairs, means choosing points mainly on the legs , upper body  and head. The group setting allows everyone present to be coached with lifestyle advice at the same time, or participants regularly share entertaining conversations. Shelley fancies herself as a “relaxation DJ” so will play varied back ground music to suit the mood. It’s effectively  Group healing for a fraction of the cost!