Both Richard and Janine have had training in the traditional form of acupuncture which involves inserting fine needles at selective points along meridians (energy pathways) to balance the body’s energy (chi). Acupuncture has now been extensively studied by western medicine and there is good evidence in the use of acupuncture for neck and back pain and headaches, although any musculoskeletal pain may respond favourably to acupuncture.

How does acupuncture work?

In traditional Chinese medicine there are two opposing and inseparable forces known as yin and yang. In the healthy state these forces are in balance. In the body these forces are regulated according to the flow of energy (Qi) in channels known as meridians. Pain and disease are associated with blockage or stagnation of Qi.

Inserting needles at certain points (acupoints) in the meridians can help to unblock the flow of Qi and thereby reduce pain and help the function of the related organ.

Western Theories

There is a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating the physiological effects of acupuncture. Acupuncture has been shown to release endorphins, which are the body’s own natural pain killers and serotonin which promotes well-being.

Will acupuncture help me?

At Austens Physiotherapy we specialise in using acupuncture to treat pain from musculoskeletal conditions. Any musculoskeletal pain can respond favourably to acupuncture.

We are finding acupuncture particularly useful for:

  • chronic or recurring back and neck pain
  • headaches
  • referred pain
  • muscle tension/spasm/tightness
  • fibromyalgia
  • rotator cuff problems of the shoulder
  • chronic tendonitis
  • enhancing well-being
  • helping sleep
  • settling anxiety/ stress

We rarely use acupuncture by itself but combine it (as did the ancient Chinese acupuncturists) with soft tissue techniques, joint mobilisation, stretching and exercises.

Acupuncture however may not suit everyone. Our physiotherapists will discuss the treatment options with you and will not recommend acupuncture for you if you have an aversion to needles or certain health issues.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is safe when carried out by suitably qualified practitioners. At Austens Physiotherapy we only use disposable needles, which are taken from a sealed package just prior to use.

What does acupuncture treatment involve?

Acupuncture treatment involves inserting fine needles into acupuncture points as determined by the treating practitioner. Usually 5 to 15 needles are used. The needles are made out of stainless steel. The insertion of the needle is quick and usually painless. Occasionally a deep ache or other sensation is felt which passes quickly.

The needles are left in for a few minutes up to 20 minutes while the person relaxes usually lying on their back or front. Often people feel very relaxed after acupuncture. Some report feeling invigorated or an enhanced feeling of well being.

Do all physiotherapists use acupuncture?

Not all physiotherapists use acupuncture. Physiotherapists at Austens Physiotherapy have undertaken postgraduate study in acupuncture. Janine Austen has undertaken the highest level of study available to physiotherapists with the Australian Physiotherapists Association acupuncture training program.

What is Moxabustion?

Moxabustion involves burning an aromatic herb either at the end of the acupuncture needle or directly on the skin over the acupuncture point. This technique introduces warmth into the acupuncture point. This enhances the stimulation of Qi, increases the circulation and reduces muscle spasm and pain.