Acupuncture – TCM Benefits, Points, How Does It Work

Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world. It is part of a complete medical system that over time has developed its ways of dealing with any physical or mental problem, condition, or disease.

Acupuncture is not an emergency intervention to save lives by treating physical injures, but the system has stood the test of time. In the health care system of modern Singapore, both work in parallel, using the advantages of each of them – for chronic diseases (TCM) and in acute diseases – modern medicine. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it helps balance out in imbalances in the body.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a Chinese reflexogenic method of treatment. It is performed by triggering specific points on the skin with acupuncture needles that can treat different conditions. The procedure is normally done by a specialist called an acupuncturist.

Acupuncture is a treatment modality that is one piece of traditional Chinese medicine and not only Chinese, other Asian countries as well. Within traditional Chinese medicine there is a system of diagnosis there is a system of treatment planning and there is a system of various types of treatments – there is herbal medicine, acupuncture and there are few other submodalities. Acupuncture is one of those treatments.

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM is an aggregate of several modalities which encompasses acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. They are probably the most popular forms. Then there is Chinese remedial massage therapy or Tui na, and there are exercise and breathing therapy, diet, lifestyle advice, and dietary therapy as well. All of that is traditional Chinese medicine. It’s one of the oldest systems of medicine still practiced today. It’s a philosophy and its principles are still applied in even modern diseases. TCM physician normally promotes, restore, and maintain health, and also prevent disorder or imbalances.

How does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture procedure

Chinese acupuncture works by using tiny needles to stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen in the body. The needles do not hurt. They stay in the body for about 20 minutes. Depending on the severity of the pain it may take multiple treatments to feel the full benefits. It sends signals to the brain and then the brain sends down hormone messengers and allows endorphins to come and then take the pressure out of that area.

What does acupuncture do is using very fine needles and inserting these needles at very carefully chosen spots on the body to try to create a change elsewhere on the body. There is a traditional system of dividing the body up into segments of yin and yang. The acupuncturists use the relationships between those segments of yin and yang to help them decide where the needles need to go.

Acupuncture has a really nice effect on brain chemistry right the effects of acupuncture on the endogenous opiate system is very interesting. The specialists create changes in microcirculation to the area that they are targeting. The idea is if they put a needle in someplace the patient is going to feel it and the body is going send all these normalizing signals to that spot where the needle is. Acupuncture has also good side effects because the body sends those normalizing signals to the targeting area.

After treatment, the patients have renewed the sense of well- being. Side effects are rare.

What does Acupuncture do?

The main thing about acupuncture is that it tries to mobilize the body’s forces to be able to fight the disease on its own. It is recommended to start the therapy earlier. In some cases, when the patient starts later, only the symptoms (pain, cramps, dizziness) can be treated and the disease itself unresponsive.

Classical acupuncture can affect various disease states:

  • The treatment has a mainly symptomatic effect on them;
  • Diseases of the Musculoskeletal System;
  • Degenerative Disc Disease and Sciatica;
  • Soft Tissue Disorder;
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases;
  • Diseases of the autonomic nervous system – migraines, neuroses, impaired psycho-emotional tone, gastrointestinal diseases – gastritis, ulcers, pyloric spasms (due to increased nervous excitability);
  • Allergic conditions – hay fever and bronchial asthma;
  • In cancer – acupuncture can be an adjunct therapy to improve the patient’s general condition.

In cases of severe trauma or acute accident, modern medicine should not be replaced by acupuncture, Tui na, or herbal medicine, but they are excellent methods to accelerate recovery. Also in the treatment of severe bacterial infections or cancers, Chinese medicine could be used as an additional method to alleviate the condition.

Acupuncture has a positive effect on some other conditions as well.

  • To soothe a busy daily life, mental and emotional fatigue, increased nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, headache, high/low blood pressure, anxiety, phobias, etc.
  • To stimulate the immune system with frequent colds, acute/chronic sinusitis, sore throat, allergies, itching, eczema, asthma, and so on.
  • Harmonizing the work of the digestive and excretory systems in nausea, vomiting, gastritis, ulcers, colitis, constipation, diarrhoea, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, haemorrhoids, nocturnal enuresis, frequent cystitis, and so on.
  • Common gynaecological problems such as painful, irregular or missing menstruation, infertility, persistent white flow, decreased libido.
  • Long-term pain in joints and muscles – acupuncture improves mobility in large joints such as hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists. For back pain: neck, back, and lower back (sciatica, radiculitis, herniated disk ), numbness of the limbs. Treated patients with chronic pain are recognizing that acupuncture has an important role in pain management.
  • Some endocrine diseases – diabetes, thyroid diseases (hyper or hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
  • Overweight, anorexia, and bulimia – it regulates digestion, stimulate the glands to restore hormonal balance, suppress uncontrolled hunger, calm and centre the mind and psyche.
  • Eye and ear diseases conjunctivitis – progressive vision loss, progressive hearing loss, deafness, noise, and wheezing in the ears.
  • Diseases of the oral cavity inflammation of the gums, inflammation of the tongue, cold sores, bad breath, etc.
  • Aesthetic problems, “rejuvenation” and restoring the youthful freshness of the face – hair loss, increased hair growth in women, reduction of fine lines (wrinkles) on the skin; double chin reduction;
  • Reduction of wrinkles on the forehead and frequent wrinkling of the eyebrows; lifting sagging skin, bags under the eyes or puffy/sagging eyelids, dark circles under the eyes and skin spots.

Acupuncture Points

Acupuncture points

The human body has over three hundred and sixty-five acupuncture points. The insertion of acupuncture points in the body brings about health and wellness to the individual. Pressure, also called acupressure is also an effective way to stimulate the points. Some of the main acupuncture points are:

  • Large Intestine 4 – it is located between the thumb, and the first finger, in the web of the hand. This acupuncture point is effective for the face. It can be helpful for the teeth, dental health, as well as colds and flues in the face, sinus congestion, helps keep the eyes clear and healthy. It is also very good for headaches.
  • Large Intestine 11 – this acupuncture point is located between the arm and elbow where is the crease. The point is very helpful for clearing heat out of the body such as hot flashes, or it could be a fever. It’s also good for constipation and getting things moving.
  • Governor vessel 20 – It is on the top of the head. This a great point to use for increasing energy in the body. It’s good for elevating mood. It is also called “the happy point”.
  • Spleen 6 – It is on the leg. The point is located on the ankle, next to the bone. This is a great point for women’s health. It brings blood and nourishment to the body. It also helps with any bloating and indigestion.

Benefits of Acupuncture

  • Acupuncture has been proven to be very successful for a lot of different conditions. Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture can treat a wider array of problems without things like pain relief medication or surgical intervention because people recognize that some of their health ills are because something is fundamentally imbalanced at a deeper level. If they treated that deeper level then they can effectuate a change without something that is very invasive.
  • Many people are fearful of the needles or they are fearful that acupuncture is painful but in fact, the therapy is nearly painless. Often there is a little twinge of pain but nothing significant and even those with real significant needle anxiety have had successful acupuncture treatment.
  • It’s a very deeply relaxing experience once the points go in and most people sort of flowed out of acupuncture feeling really relaxed.
  • Acupuncture helps induce the relaxation response in the mind as well as throughout the body, improves the blood flow, and has a positive impact on multiple body systems.
  • Acupuncture stimulation can make the brain release endorphin almost like a natural painkiller. It can elicit various areas to bring that corresponding to emotion and cognition and as a result can really help to manage nerve pain, improve mood, improve sleep.

Acupuncture is a therapy that is recommended for different problems whether it’s fatigue whether it’s mood changes, it could be something like infertility or pain. All of these things might be helped by acupuncture treatments.

Does Acupuncture Work Immediately?

How long it takes for acupuncture to work depends on a lot of factors. For some people, it works immediately, while for others it begins to work later. Most patients experience an “acu buzz” after their first procedure. Acupuncture is beneficial for many diseases so it may be worth a try.

How Much is Acupuncture in Singapore?

Acupuncture cost in Singapore

Acupuncture is the common form of TCM in Singapore. The cost of the different TCM clinics varies depending on the type of treatment and the number of procedures. Some of them charge for the first consultation but others do not charge for that. The first consultation normally costs around $10 to $30. The cost of acupuncture Singapore treatment can vary between $30 and $70 depending on the clinic.

If you are considering seeing a physician in Singapore you can ask for recommendations from other health care providers or friends who have experience. When you choose TCM physician or acupuncturist you should ask them about their training and specific experience. Make sure that you find the right TCM clinic and your physician is properly licensed, and certificated by the Ministry of Health.