Acupuncture is the strategic insertion of fine, sterile needles on the surface of the body for therapeutic benefit.
It has been practiced for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries and, more recently, all around the world.
Acupuncture is a natural and increasingly popular form of health care used by people over the whole world.
- focuses on drug-free pain relief
- can be effective in the treatment of acute and chronic ailments as shown in research studies which have been collated in the Acupuncture Evidence Project, such as lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and a lot more.
- takes an holistic approach by addressing the underlying cause of the condition, as well as the symptoms. The approach links body, mind and emotions.
- assists in the prevention against disease and the maintenance of general well-being.
(1) Xue CCL, Zhang TL, Lin V, Myers R, Polus B, Story DF. Acupuncture, chiropractic and osteopathy use in Australia: a national population survey. BMC Public Health. 2008;8:105–112.
(2) Easthope G, Tranter B, Gill G. Normal medical practice of referring patients for complementary therapies among Australian general practitioners. Complement Ther Med. 2000;8:226–233.
Acupuncture is well accepted by the Australians, with 10% having received a treatment (1) and 80% of general medical practitioners referring their patients to an acupuncture practitioner (2).
Most private health insurance schemes provide rebates to patients receiving acupuncture treatment, and third-party payment is also available in six of eight Australian states and territories.
The future direction of acupuncture in Australia is to introduce this medicine in hospitals and gain access to the medical benefit scheme so that acupuncture can be accessed by a wider community, in particular those who come from a disadvantaged background.
In Australia, acupuncture became a mandatory nationally registered profession in 2012.
Now over 4000 practitioners are registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA).
The CMBA is under the governance of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agent (AHPRA), a government body that manages the registration of all health practitioners, including doctors, nurses, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and more.