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Newb with a needle question

Discussion in 'Acupuncture Massage' started by mtqiyrut, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. mtqiyrut

    mtqiyrut New Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Hello to you all.

    Ian here 44 years from East Herts.

    Working for a local publishing company with pressure & deadlines etc, brought about the lower back pain that first prompted me to try acupuncture.

    My first experience some years back was great. I noticed the needles used were quite big/tall with what looked like brass octagonal heads. Anyway the effect was immediate and worthwhile.

    A couple of weeks a go I started going to a local Chinese practice where the needles were nothing like that of my first visit - more like large sewing needles. I've been twice now and must confess, I'm a smidge disappointed with the results.

    I don't know if any of you have any knowledge of these needles or practices?
  2. Misty

    Misty Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Hi Ian

    Traditionally, the needles used in Chinese style acupuncture usually have a wound copper handle, with a nub on the end, as opposed to style used in Japanese acupuncture, which have a straight, tube-shaped handle. These are usually more compact than the Chinese style. With greater accessibility to different needling styles and methods, practitoners are nowadays using a nix and match approach to needle selection, using what they would consider the right type for the job in hand.

    This has come a long way from the time when a friend of mine used to make his own needles as none were available in the UK at the time!

    Stick with it- backs can be funny things to work on. If there's no improvement at all after about six treatments, you might want to re-evaluate whether acupuncture is the right treatment for you. Make sure your practitioner is registered with a professional body such as the BAcC or ACTM, and is registered with the local authority for health and safety purposes. Currently anyone can call themselves an acupuncturist, so make sure your practitioner is properly trained to degree level, and has not just done some short weekend course!

    Best wishes
  3. Sporty

    Sporty Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Hi simsy!

    You would have faster results with someone who practices combination therapies, i.e acupuncture and Tui Na, or Thai massage, or infact any bodywork. Acupuncture is very effective at releiving pain and correcting the imbalance, but a needle cannot stretch a muscle, nor can it release mobility problems caused by tightness or shortening of the muscle itself.

    Also check out 'AcuC' The Acupuncture - Acutherapy Council, (formally UK Oreintal Medicine) This proffesional body specialises in Oriental Medicine and Physical Therapy. Nearly all registered practitioners here are traditionally trained and offer very effective forms of bodywork too!

    For effective healing you must address the internal and external injury. Plus it will save you money on acupuncture alone!

    Hope this helps

  4. globeweasel

    globeweasel Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Ah, but not all back pain is musculoskeletal! I'd be interested in knowing how muscle stretching might resolve say, Kidney Qi deficiency, one of the leading causes of LBP in the elderly (according to the rules of TCM!). Correct pattern differentiation is the key to successful treatment, rather than combining methods ad hoc, hoping that one of them will work!
  5. JShmo

    JShmo New Member

    Nov 18, 2010

    I have clinically tested Acupuncture and Bodywork seperately and lower back pain responds better with both.

    Why try 6 acupuncture treatments to see if it works, when you can have 4 combined and it will works wonders

    Simsy is not quite elderly yet
  6. Alice D

    Alice D Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Ah, That'll be the "TCM" training coming through.

    I think, Indo, you've hit on one of the main problems with the teaching of Oriental sytems in the UK. Acupuncture tends to be taught as a stand-alone system here, whereas in China we combined it with other therapies, including hot massage, stretches and so on. In fact a Chinese doctor is only qualified when proficient in many processes, acupuncture being just one.

    As acupuncture has become more mainstream, and is taught in more and more universities here, the syllabus has to meet certain requirements over and above the acupuncture itself in order to tick the right boxes for governmental guidelines. This means less time is available to get on with the more important stuff. What this tends to mean is TuiNa, Qigong, Herbs and "Bonesetting" which are all part of a doctors training in China, have to give way to other things.

    We were quite lucky that our acupuncture course in the UK included therapeutic massage, which, funnily enough, I tend to use for almost all cases of back pain! Also having trained in and taught tai chi for over 15 years, I know just where to send folk that could benefit from a little "self-mobilisation"!

    What this means of course, is a big market for CPD courses at considerable expense!
  7. yerdaddy6_6

    yerdaddy6_6 New Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    thats why i'm glad i trained where i did! Tuina, Acupuncture, Auricular, Oriental Bodywork.

    I regularly use 3-4 therapies in a single session and get good results rather than just the use of one.

    Plus some people will not like a specific therapy, so i have others at hand to gain the same results, makes the job more interesting and challenging too!

    A great painter can paint a masterpiece in just one colour!, but a great painter with the colours of a rainbow can paint the world

  8. ccancerb

    ccancerb New Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    This is interesting. I was unaware of kidney failure until my first visit to the current Chinese acupuncturist a couple of weeks ago. "Oh really why do you think my kidneys are failing"? I asked. "Because you are old" came her non sugar coated eastern style reply.

    Passing water seems to be connected to the kidney failure also in as much as the stopping of the water.

    I had (perhaps wrongly) assumed that the LBP was solely due to stress.

    Going back to the needle variations (first posting), the one's used on me 7 or 8 years ago had these large hexagonal heads, which I summised were so effective as they exhumed, transported and stored the stress as it were. I wonder where one would get hold of such needles these days?

    *(Apologies to mods for registration mix up)
  9. bloojerlomo

    bloojerlomo New Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Hi Simsy, and welcome aboard.

    In classical Chinese medicine theory, the body is thought to age in stages of 8 years for men, and 7 years for women. 10 x 8 = 80 years, which equated to an "Immortal", someone living almost twice the life expectancy in the Middle Ages. Being 44 (or almost 6 x 8) that means you are definitely on the slippery slope to old age. The Chinese believe that we are born with a finite amount of energy which acts like a pilot light in a gas boiler. Once you are over 40, this energy (jing) is half gone, sooner if you've been caning booze, fags and women. This energy is supposed to be stored in the "Kidneys" and acts as a catalyst for body metabolism. Once it begins to get diminished, the "boiler" starts to run less effectively- we might start to feel colder than we did when younger, or we don't have the stamina we used to. As "Chinese Kidneys" rule the lower back, hearing, the teeth, and urination, aging may be associated with disfunction in all or any of these areas. The Chinese would ask questions about all these functions, to see what the state of the jing is, and ascribe treatment accordingly.

    There are other sources of LBP as well, especially if no other indications are present. Dull, aching low grade pain might be associated with invasion of Wind-Damp; sharp pain that improves with warmth might be Wind-Cold; stabbing pain could be Blood stagnation; pain that improves with movement could be Qi stagnation. You can see that a correct pattern diagnosis becomes important, as the treatment method depends on it.

    In terms of passing water, getting up several times in the night would be a sign of Kidney deficiency in the elderly; if coupled with cold feelings it could be Kidney Yang Deficiency, if you're heating up it might be Kidney Yin deficiency. None of these patterns would respond well to physical therapy, whereas Blood Stagnation might, especially if you're a bit inactive.

    The main thing to remember is that Chinese "Kidney" is not really the same as a western kidney, as it refers mainly to a collection of functions rather than the organ itself. If at 44 you are getting up several times, I'd recommend seeing a western doctor to rule out any serious problems.

    Stress in Chinese medicine is said to deplete Kidney function, jam up qi flow and may cause digestive, heart or sleep problems. This might be similar to the vasoconstrictive effects of adrenaline creating problems elsewhere; definitely worth avoiding if possible.
  10. flexcavano

    flexcavano Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I agree with Indo that a combination often works best. Even if the CAUSE isn't muscular, after a while the muscles will inevitably get tense, and massaging them will certainly help.

    Incidentally, Tui Na is capable of much more than just 'muscle stretching' and can be used for deficiencies of all kinds, including Kidney Qi Deficiency - By working with the patient's Qi, using the acupoints and channels, we can treat the same range of conditions with tuina as with acupuncture... As you say, it is the diagnosis that is important - Both acupuncture and tuina need a good Chinese diagnosis to be effective...
  11. LoknoiFish101

    LoknoiFish101 New Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Oh Yes! i successfully treated for 3 years in clinic before training in Acupuncture, and still find it more effective long term, its just very physical and the Acupuncture takes some of the strain.

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