Needling forms the bedrock of your acupuncture treatment. Very fine, sterile needles are used to activate acupuncture points located along meridains spanning the body. In general, Five Element Acupuncture uses very gentle needling techniques, with as few needles as possible. Each needle is used only once and then discarded in the sharps bin.
The needles act to either boost the body’s energy flow or to calm it down, depending on the condition and the patients’ underlying energetic profile.
Intra dermal needling
Intra dermal needles are used to help ease pain and for facial acupuncture. They are very, very fine and much shorter than normal needles. They have a circular loop which helps hold the needle in place on the surface of the skin. It is usual to leave these needles in place for a number of days to help ease pain. They are taped down with micro-gauze tape and the patient leaves the treatment room with them in situ. This form of treatment enables the powerful action of the acupuncture needle to continue beyond the treatment session. The patient is taught how to care for these needles and what to do when it is time to remove them.
Intra dermal needles cannot be felt by the patient once they are in situ.
For facial acupuncture they are used on deep wrinkles and lines and are removed before the patient leaves the treatment room.
Moxa is a dried herb from the East that when lit with a burning taper, produces a consistent heat that is used to enhance the action of the acupuncture needle. It is rolled into small cones or into a cigar shaped roll so that it can be used to gently warm the acupuncture point. Patients find it very soothing and relaxing.
Cup shaped instruments are placed on the skin and the air pressure within them is reduced using a small hand pump. This helps create a demi-vacuum on the surface of the skin. The cups are sometimes left in position for a few minutes or they are moved around on the surface of the skin to give a massage effect.
Cupping is generally used to relieve stress and sooth aches and pains, similar to massage.
Gua sha is an ancient form of folk medicine that is traditionally used to treat pain. It involves using a fish shaped spatula to deeply massage the flesh. It is thought to help move blood and body fluid to detoxify muscles and promote healing.
Acupressure massage is used in situations where needling is not appropriate. Instead of needling the acupuncture point it is massaged with a blunt probe until a gentle aching sensation is felt. This form of treatment is often used with young children.