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“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.
Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”

Paracelsus (15th Century, medieval alchemist and physician)

Acupuncture works with single-use disposable needles inserted below the skin. The scientific basis of how acupuncture works may be related to changes in blood flow to promote soft-tissue healing, and effects on the nervous system (gate-control theory of pain, neurotransmitters, endorphins, serotonin and so on). Traditional (Chinese Medicine) clinical paradigms of how acupuncture works, developed over thousands of years of empirical clinical observation and refinement, and describe changes in physiological processes and homeostasis in different language. These traditional acupuncture concepts, models and explanations (qi and blood, five phases, yin and yang polarity, etc) can provide a good working model of whole body processes, mechanisms and inter-relationships. Acupuncture treats the person — the whole body, not just the illness or isolated symptoms.

You will note, from reading this site, that I am also an Osteopath, and as such have trained in Western biomedical science, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc. I am often asked the question: "what kind of acupuncture do I practice — Traditional Chinese Acupuncture or dry-needling?" And I suppose that I could give the answer "both" to this question, but on reflection, I would have to say that I practice traditional acupuncture, as I diagnose and treat according to a traditional energetic diagnostic paradigm.

I hold registration as an osteopath in Western medical acupuncture, which is the term used for osteopaths who practice acupuncture as a specialism, but my training is far more extensive, having trained in acupuncture for several years in the UK, and having spent time in China in a teaching hospital there. For more about my training, please see:

There are, of course, certain differences (beyond just length of training) between the two styles and approaches to acupuncture, particularly in the conceptual framework and underpinning paradigms used. For more on this, please see my page on Traditional vs Dry-needling.

A recent study in NZ suggests that most people seek acupuncture for musculoskeletal and pain-related conditions and treating chronic and quality of life health issues.

Acupuncture and lower back pain

Financial advisor John Joseph talks about his use of acupuncture in treating lower back pain. Adam Leighton is the acupuncturist.

Show video: Acupuncture and lower back pain


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