It’s understandable if acupuncture for chronic pain treatment sounds foreign to you, or even fantastical. As it is not fundamental to this part of the world, even in this era where modern medical practices have taken over from traditional ones. This time-honoured technique was once considered dangerous, but is now recognised as a viable complementary therapy option for a variety of diseases, including osteoarthritis, back pain, and neck discomfort. One of the methods of chronic pain treatment that are similar to old traditional techniques such as acupuncture is the use of herbal plants for disease management. The cannabis plant is one of such plants which are rich in phytochemicals used in chronic pain management and other similar diseases. People now take CBD oil, capsule or tincture for pain management.
Though acupuncture is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and one of the world’s oldest healing arts, it was not recognised by the English-speaking world and it was introduced to Australia in the year 1880.
Since then, acupuncture’s popularity among both patients and their doctors has been steadily rising in several parts of the world, even in Australia, particularly for the treatment of chronic pain symptoms like headaches, neck and back pains, and osteoarthritis/knee discomfort. When used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments, acupuncture has shown positive results in reducing symptom severity. In reality, acupuncture has been used by Western doctors to alleviate chemotherapy-related side effects such chronic pain, exhaustion, nausea, and vomiting.
Related: Effective Relief Techniques for Chronic Pain Management
It is said that traditional western medicine is around 3,500 years younger than the practice of acupuncture. In acupuncture, needles, heat, and pressure are applied to certain areas of the body to induce the desired effects. Since sickness and suffering are said to originate from these parts of our body, stimulating these sites is thought to release or redirect this energy.
Ten percent of Australians have visited private clinics run by doctors or acupuncturists to receive acupuncture therapy. Acupuncture was first recognized as a profession in the Australian state of Victoria in the year 2000, and required national registration for acupuncturists was implemented in the year 2012. The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia has so far approved nearly 4,000 practitioners (CMBA)
Is it Effective for Chronic Pain Treatment?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that acupuncture is effective for a variety of chronic pain symptoms, including headaches, back and neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It can help prevent migraines and lower the frequency and intensity of tension headaches. According to the NIH’s analysis, this means that acupuncture appears to be a fair alternative for persons with chronic pain to explore.
Patients will frequently see their acupuncturist in order to keep up a sense of well-being. Acupuncture is often thought of as mild and non-invasive, despite the fact that it involves putting hair-thin needles into various regions of the body.
Improved sleep, greater energy, mental clarity, better digestion, and less stress were among the recorded results of acupuncture. Although, acupuncture can have certain negative effects, such as increased tiredness, pain, bruises, twitching muscles, dizziness, and emotional discharge (crying). However, these occurrences are few and usually not very problematic or persistent. Some specialist believe that those things are irrelevant to anyone considering acupuncture for the first time, but maybe not.
Locating an Effective Acupuncturist
The future of acupuncture in Australia is to make this therapy available to a larger community, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, by introducing it in hospitals and gaining access to the medical benefit plan.
In Australia, the vast majority of people see acupuncture as a viable solution. In a poll of 544 primary care physicians, over 85% said they would recommend acupuncture to a patient. In certain urban areas, the percentage of referrals is as high as 80%, whereas in rural areas it hovers around 70%. Clinics that specialize in acupuncture, Chinese medicine, Oriental medicine, general medicine, physiotherapy, and other health services are the most common settings for the practice of acupuncture. These days, it’s not uncommon to see an acupuncturist working in a clinic alongside conventional medical physicians, other CAM practitioners like chiropractors or osteopaths, or allied health experts like physiotherapists. Hospitals have not yet integrated acupuncture into their standard treatment protocols.
What Sort of Qualifications Should You Demand?
Acupuncturists must meet varying standards for licensure depending on where they practise. The requirements in certain states are tougher than in others. From its modest origins, the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) has grown into the preeminent professional association for TCM practitioners, and currently counts more than 2,200 members as its loyal adherents. The majority of licenced acupuncturists and Chinese herbal medicine doctors in Australia are members of this organisation, making it the biggest such organisation in Australia.
Finding the best doctor for your needs can be a challenge. However, some website both have search tools that can assist you locate a certified acupuncturist in Australia. But if you consider the service of consulting an acupuncturist to be expensive, because we believe that you don’t need to break the bank to have your chronic pain treated, reach out to professionals at Chronic Therapy today to have a direct evaluation and solution for your discomfort. There are many alternatives as mentioned in the introduction of this post, such as CBD products and recommended medical cannabis treatment that have so much potency against chronic pain.
Patients in Australia often pay nothing at all or only a nominal cost for medical diagnostic tests and therapies thanks to Medicare, the country’s national health insurance programme. If a Medical Doctor is performing the acupuncture, Medicare will pay for it and the patient will owe nothing or very little out of pocket. According to a 2013 study, just 3.4% of all general practitioners submitted claims for acupuncture services through Medicare, with the total cost for acupuncture accounting only 0.16 % of all general practitioners’ Medicare expenditures. Medicare does not pay for acupuncture services provided by licenced acupuncturists; however, most private health insurance policies do. Private health insurance among Australians is actively promoted as a means of relieving stress on the public healthcare system. Acupuncture therapy is reimbursed by all private health insurance plans. A referral from a medical practitioner is not necessary for these types of care.
To learn more about chronic pain management and the best options for your situation, you should consult us at Chronic Therapy.