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Gp Acupuncture


Hi, I've just joined this forum to ask a bit more about Gp Acupuncture.

I've just moved to Australia from the UK. In the UK i saw several acupuncturists over several years, who mainly practiced 5 elements acupuncture.

In Australia I found a GP surgery offering acupuncture, using "bulk billing" so technically it is free with no cost to the patient. However my experience has been rather strange. I had anticipated that it would be different from "normal" acunpuncture but it was very different indeed, and I am questionning whether it bears any relation to orthodox practice and to its efficiency.

Initially I saw a GP who after about 1 minute confirmed that I wanted acupuncture for my medical condition. Then I was asked to lie on a bed in a different room. About 30mins later another Gp entered, confirmed what I wanted treatment for, then proceeded to insert about 25 needles in my body. There was no patient history taken, no pulses taken, no tongue examination. He was only with me for as long as it took to insert the needles. Then he left. 20 minutes a nurse arrived to remove the needles with tweezers and I left. They recommend 6-12 visits.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Have there been any studies into GP acupuncture and its worth? I am only going as it is free and I have nothing to lose (hopefully it will not exacerabtae my condition) but I do feel that any possible improvement will have happened through luck rather than through judgement!

Thoughts are very welcome...


There are many ways to apply acupuncture and many theories which support it&#39s use. The tongue and pulse, for example, is not mandatory - but generally a patient history is except for the most benign of pain cases. That said there are most often very huge differences between "medical" acupuncture as practiced by many trained in western medicine disciplines and "traditional" acupuncture as practiced by fully trained acupuncturists. The differences are plentiful and too detailed to discuss in a short post.

My take on it is this - generally some of the medical acupuncture folks that operate outside of understanding Chinese theory will still do ok for those things they feel comfortable treating such as mild to moderate pain cases. It&#39s not really luck that gets them results its just that acupuncture works for these things and the overriding diagnostic theory can (in my opinion and more in their opinion most likely) can be absolute overkill - a nice story but ultimately not much of a game changer for what points you might use. Anything that gets out of that boundary of simplistic pain cases - fertility, psychiatric conditions, allergies, neurological conditions, etc. generally does best from a fully trained acupuncturist who pulls from the depths of Chinese Medicine theory and applies acupuncture properly.

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