"The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well."



As acupuncture is an energetic medicine, many sensations can be experienced when energy is moved. They can range from warm and tingling to slight throbbing or pulsating. When a needle is inserted it is often not felt, and if so can be a minute pinch like sensation. Most people feel very relaxed and often fall asleep on the table!
Two very different theories exist as to how acupuncture works. According to Chinese philosophy, the body contains two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called "qi" (pronounced "chee"), flows like rivers along pathways, or meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang balanced. However, the flow of energy can sometimes be blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam. A disruption in the flow of energy can lead to illness.
Approximately 2,000 different acupuncture points lie along the body's meridians. The idea behind acupuncture is that stimulating these points with acupuncture needles or pressure relieves obstructions in the flow of energy, enabling the body to heal.
In the Western view, acupuncture likely works by stimulating the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals called neurotransmitters and hormones. These chemicals dull pain, boost the immune system and regulate various body functions.
Yes when performed by a fully qualified practitioner, acupuncture is safe and effective. Acupuncture needles used are sterile, disposable and used only once on each point. The side effects of acupuncture are rare, most commonly experienced is occasional bruising at insertion sites, and tiredness after treatment.
Make sure your acupuncturist is a member of a professional body such as the NZ Register of Acupuncturists. Such organisations have strict codes of conduct for their members.
Your first acupuncture session will be between an hour to 75mins. Your practitioner will take a detailed account of your current condition and medical history and ask about medications and supplements that you are currently taking. If you are seeking ACC subsidised treatments you will need to bring your ACC45 number, or apply for one from your GP.
You will be asked a range of questions about your diet, lifestyle, digestion, sleep, menstruation, temperature preferences and any bodily pain or tension. To assist with diagnosis and treatment plan, your tongue will be looked at, your pulses taken and body points palpated. Your practitioner will devise a customised acupuncture treatment for you and needles are retained between 20-40 mins. Most people find treatment to be very relaxing.
It is advisable to have eaten something before treatment, and afterwards not to engage in strenuous activities or exercise - just take it easy. Effects of the treatment will be felt most strongly for the next 3 days and up to a week, and changes can be subtle and in some cases dramatic.
Once you have had your first session your acupuncturist will be able to see how you have responded and how many treatments you might need. It also depends on how long you have had the condition, and how severe it is.
Most people receive a course of 6-12 treatments, twice weekly or weekly to begin with and then stretched to two weekly, 3 weekly and then once a month for maintenance. Each treatment builds upon the last - i.e. it has a cumulative effect.
Yes you can. All Aroha Acupuncture practitioners are registered with the NZ Blood Service. If you are blood deficient in Chinese Medicine terms, it is not advisable to be giving blood regularly. Talk with your practitioner.
Dry needling is a technique used by massage therapists and physiotherapists. It is a form of trigger point therapy used for muscle pain, using thicker needles than acupuncture needles. It can be quite painful and should not be confused with acupuncture. Acupuncturists will have studied for at least 4 years, should have a Bachelor degree and belong to a professional body such as the NZ Register of Acupuncturists.