HISTORY of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is medical system which originated in China and dates back over 3500 years. It is fully integrated into hospitals and health care systems across China, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Not only has it been used by billions of people across the East, but since the early 1970s, it has rapidly spread to the West and is now used by millions of people worldwide as a curative and preventative medicine. Since 2002 Chinese Medicine, including Acupuncture has been properly accepted and regulated in South Africa, and all doctors and/or practitioners are required to register with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA), a governing body that ensures the highest levels of training and ongoing development.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, single use, stainless steel needles into specific points in the body which re-establish health, by rectifying the body's own self healing mechanisms. Needles are left in for approximately 25 to 45 minutes. Each session the doctor assesses changes that have occurred and a new point prescription is used. Depending on the presenting condition, patients generally receive a course of acupuncture treatments.

Benefits of Acupuncture:

  • Effective treatment for drug-free pain relief
  • Aids disease prevention
  • Treats the root cause of disease as well as the symptoms
  • Holistic approach to illness, connecting body, mind and emotions
  • Effectively treats many common ailments and illnesses
  • Works well in conjunction with modern medicine


During your first consultation we will discuss your presenting ailment in detail as well as have a look at your general health. The diagnosis incorporates detailed questioning, pulse and tongue diagnosis as well as any other relevant clinical examinations. We will also do blood work if necessary. Together with your presenting ailment, I will be able to highlight any other areas of your health that might benefit from acupuncture treatment. This is a great advantage of the Chinese Medicine system as it looks at health and the body holistically.

After a diagnosis is made, you will receive your first session of acupuncture. During the acupuncture treatment, a small number of acupuncture needles will be inserted into specific points to help trigger your body to start healing itself. Needles are generally left in place for 25 – 45 minutes, and sometimes the needles are inserted and immediately withdrawn. During the treatment, most patients experience deep relaxation and leave feeling restored, peaceful, and in many cases more energized.

Sterile, single use, disposable needles are used ensuring hygienic and safe treatment. After the initial consultation, patients will often attend for a series of follow up treatments, the number and frequency of which will depend on the patient and their condition.

WHat Can Acupuncture Treat?

In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO (World Health Organization) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and condition that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

The Word Health Organization also acknowledges acupuncture as effective treatment (more research is required to bring it up to the proven effective category) for another 64 diseases, conditions and symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell's palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

"A recent study shows that using Chinese medicine over a 4 month period can improve pregnancy rates 2 fold over rates achieved with fertility drugs or IVF, and increases IUI success rates by 50%."