Acupuncture is a group of treatments providing health benefits by stimulating certain points on the body.
According to medical experts, acupuncture has become more widely accepted in Australia as a treatment since the 1990s.
The history of acupuncture dates back to more than 2000 years ago. The first comprehensive literature Huangdi Neijing dated around 200BC and this theory is still the backbone of modern acupuncture practice, says local practitioner Dr. Yangyang Liu. “Although acupuncture is still based on theory established over 2000 years ago, there is a significant development to explain the mechanism of acupuncture with modern science.
“There are definitely changes in the body which can be detected by lab tests, such as blood, CT and functional MRI. Acupuncture is a treatment with constant evolution. New technologies including big data analysis, computational learning and robotic 3D vision are about to bring another great leap to this old healing art,” he said.
There are two major groups of acupuncturists, both of them are regulated by AHPRA. The first group is Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturists and the second group is GPs with medical acupuncturist training provided by the Australian Medical Acupuncture College.
According to Dr Liu there are two reasons for the wider acceptance of acupuncture. “The first one is its safety profile. Research published in 2009 based on more than 220,000 patients and over two million acupuncture treatments showed that acupuncture was safe, and the only side effect that happened over one per cent was bruising. The second reason is its efficacy. The effectiveness of acupuncture treatment has been confirmed by high-level clinical evidence including random clinical trials and system reviews.”
Dr Liu said acupuncture can treat a variety of organic and functional conditions.
“Organic conditions are diseases where changes can be detected by diagnostic tests, such as blood and x-ray. Functional conditions are diseases without any lab detectable abnormalities, such as migraine, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue.
“Generally speaking, we have very few effective treatments for functional diseases, and acupuncture can sometimes significantly improve the quality of life. Similar to medical specialties, doctors who practice acupuncture have their own special interests, including, but not limited to, musculoskeletal pain, mental health conditions, especially anxiety and depression, and gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and menopause.”
He said Albury’s first acupuncture robot was currently in development and should be available in early 2019.