I’ve often heard people tell me they’ve tried acupuncture and it just didn’t work. It dawned upon me recently what had been bothering me about this statement and I wanted to share it with you here.

Let’s just say you tried a particular hairdresser and didn’t like what they did with your hair, would you never go to the hairdresser again? I don’t think so. What about a doctor? What if you saw a doctor, found you didn’t gel with them or that they didn’t listen to you properly. Would you never see a doctor again? Again, I doubt it very much. Now, I know doctors and hairdressers are people you can’t really do without and many consider acupuncture optional and a personal choice but I wanted to put this out there anyway.

If you feel comfortable with an acupuncture practitioner, feel inspired and encouraged by them, I believe you’re more likely to get good results from your treatment. And generally, the more experienced a practitioner, the more powerful the treatment will be. But it’s equally important the practitioner engages with you in a way that enables you to be an accomplice on your health journey rather than a mere spectator.

The other thing I hear many people say is that they’ve had acupuncture when what they are really talking about is a technique called ‘dry needling’. Many physiotherapists, osteopaths, doctors, etc use dry needling today, which is basically the insertion of acupuncture needles into muscle trigger points. ‘Dry needling’ is primarily focused on physical symptoms and doesn’t treat the root or cause of a problem.

Acupuncture, on the other hand, is a method of treatment that has been around for a few thousand years. It involves a thorough consultation and an individually designed treatment plan targeting both symptoms and the cause of a problem. Acupuncture can be used to treat both physical and emotional manifestations of an illness or disease and can be effective at treating stress-related conditions – for further reading on this see the following articles – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2005290116301224 https://www.popsci.com.au/science/medicine/acupuncture-may-work-like-drugs-to-relieve-stress,406958

Acupuncturists in Australia are required to be registered with a national regulation body, called AHPRA, need to meet continued professional education requirements every year, have a minimum of 3-4 years training under their belts and hundreds if not thousands of hours of needle handling so experienced in safe needling techniques.

All of these things in combination are necessary for a positive acupuncture experience. So, if you’ve tried acupuncture (or maybe it was ‘dry needling’, not acupuncture after all) and it didn’t work, maybe it’s time to give it another go, try a different acupuncturist, one who ticks all the boxes above.