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What is Acupuncture?

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What is acupuncture

Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine that uses tiny needles to stimulate points in the body called acupoints. These specific points are believed to be important in balancing the flow of energy (qi) through the body along channels that are called meridians. The  system of medicine is believed to date back thousands of years in ancient china and an illustration of the meridians and acupoints exists that dates back to the 1340s. In the modern day, other techniques have been developed to use the same methods but adapted in some way or without using needles, for example acupressure, electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, auricular therapy, cupping or fire cupping, The World Health Organisation has recognised the therapy as being effective for the treatment of pain and nausea.

What is Auricular Acupuncture?

Auricular Acupuncture  is a form of the therapy that concentrates on the points in the ear. The therapy developed in France initially in the 1950s and then moved across Europe. There are over 200 acupoints on the ear, each point named after an area of our anatomy. The outer ear acts like a switchboard to the brain. Each point being treated, triggers electrical impulses from the ear via the brain, to the specific part of the body being treated.

What are Moxibustion and Cupping?

Moxibustion is a form of the therapy that used heated moxa to warm the acupoints and stimulate circulation through the points to help smooth the flow of blood and positive qi energy. Moxibustion is used to treat chronic problems, deficiencies and add energy to the body.

Cupping and fire cupping. Cupping works by creating a small area of low pressure next to the skin.  The cups range  in size and shape and plastic or glass are the most commonly used materials.  The low air pressure is created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame or a bath in hot scented oils, then placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin slightly inside.

Patient QI’s view :

Acupuncture is a very personalized medical system that is highly suited to patients who are building a personalized strategy. The traditional needle therapy is the most tried and tested form of  but other forms such as electroacupuncture, moxibustion and cupping do have their place in a treatment strategy.

Patient QI Best Acupuncture Info link:

Important Rules Regulations and Associations for Acupuncture

In Europe, the USA and Australasia some countries and states have regulations for most have regulations for the treatment but very few regulate the profession for detailed information by country it is best to visit their individual association/institute website. The international non-profit organization that coordinates good practice guidelines, safety and research in medical acupuncture is ICMART (International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques) There is also an umbrella organisation in Europe, The European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association which includes Acupuncture associations in their lists of members:










NETHERLANDS; Dutch Association for Acupuncture:


SWEDEN Swedish Acupuncture Association for Traditional Chinese Medicine

SWITZERLAND Swiss Professional Organisation for Traditional Chinese Medicine:


North America



Sociedad Argentina de Acupuntura:


Brazilian Medical Association of Acupuncture


Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists

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