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Leading Acupuncture Sydney Therapists

ANTA is the largest national democratic association of complementary, traditional and natural therapy practitioners in Australia. Our association has been accrediting Sydney acupuncturists for over 60 years, and we are committed to public safety and quality assurance by maintaining the highest ethical and qualification standards.

Our practitioners’ prime focus is your optimum health, so every acupuncturist in our directory is capable of delivering the best possible treatment. If you’re looking for the best acupuncture in Sydney, you’ll find it in our directory.

Find acupuncture in Sydney

Search our directory of experts to find acupuncture in Sydney, including fertility acupuncture in Sydney. We offer services in the CBD and surrounding suburbs.

Why use an acupuncturist who is an ANTA member?

✔️Our acupuncturists are trained, qualified and accredited with the relevant industry bodies.
✔️Our acupuncturists practise holistic medicine, which is based on treating your overall health and wellbeing, rather than just your symptoms.
✔️Our acupuncturists will stimulate your body’s ability to regulate and heal itself.
✔️Our acupuncturists and their qualifications are recognised by both state and federal governments in Australia.
✔️ANTA has been working with professional acupuncturists for over 60 years.
✔️Our acupuncture services include providing fertility acupuncture in Sydney, to support clients who wish to become pregnant.

Expert guide on acupuncture

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, flexible needles through the skin at strategic points on a client’s body. These needles are made of stainless steel and are very thin, at only around 0.2mm thick (that’s about the width of a human hair).

A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture supports the concept of a vital energy or “life force” known as Qi (pronounced “chee”), which circulates through the body via a system of pathways known as meridians. It is believed that disharmony or imbalances in the flow of Qi cause illness. Acupuncturists aim to correct the flow of this vital energy and needles are used to stimulate acupuncture points, neural zones and meridians that sit under the skin. This restores balance and encourages the body to heal itself.

Acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain, however, when performed by a skilled practitioner, it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of disorders.

History of acupuncture

Some argue that acupuncture originated in Eurasia after similar needles were discovered during the Stone Age that were made from animal bone and stone. However, it is widely accepted as traditional Chinese medicine, which has been practised for over 2500 years. This makes it one of the oldest healthcare systems in the world!

Acupuncture was first described in an ancient text written in China in around 300BC, known as The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. The first types of acupuncture needles were created by the Chinese and made from silver, bamboo, copper, iron, bronze and even gold. It is thought that modern hypodermic needles originated from these.

Today in Australia, it is one of the most accepted complementary therapies, with many GPs referring their patients to an accredited acupuncturist. Australia is also the only country in the world where a Statutory Registration of Acupuncture is mandatory for acupuncturists to practise.

The philosophy of acupuncture

Qi flows through our facia, skin, bone, muscle and internal organs. When it is disrupted or imbalanced, it can cause illness or pain, and acupuncture is said to manipulate and rebalance disrupted Qi.

Although Qi has never been proven by science, acupuncture has and is used to treat a range of issues from chronic pain, respiratory conditions and fertility issues to weight loss, depression and anxiety.

How does acupuncture heal the body?

The body is made up of a variety of incredibly complex systems that work together to keep you healthy and functional. And although it is difficult to determine exactly how acupuncture works, a number of scientific studies over the years have suggested it can optimise your health and wellbeing in a variety of ways.

A study done by Gabriel and Dominic Lu in 2013 discovered that acupuncture can activate neurohormonal pathways. These trigger the body’s biochemical processes, and a number of different chemicals are released. These include serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, enkephalins and γ-aminobutyric acid, which can help to heal illness and ailments.

Because the needles used in acupuncture also stimulate the body’s nerves, signals sent to the brain release neural hormones. These alleviate pain but also make patients feel happier. And although acupuncture doesn’t directly release feel-good chemicals, it stimulates vital organs like the pituitary gland which can produce additional hormones.

Other studies focus on the effects of acupuncture on inflammation — a debilitating response by the body that can lead to pain and multiple health issues. Inflammation in the body can be increased by pro-inflammatory marker proteins (like IL-1β and TNF), and acupuncture has been shown to reduce these.

A commonly targeted pro-inflammatory marker is found below the knee. When this is targeted via acupuncture, it can increase a patient’s energy, strengthen their immune system and reduce inflammation throughout their entire body.

Acupuncture can also be used to treat nerve damage. It does this by sending signals to the brain to repair and grow nerves, which can lead to nerve regeneration.

For women undergoing fertility treatment, acupuncture has been proven to increase the effectiveness of hormone-increasing drugs. It can regulate hormones, improve the menstrual cycle and promote ovulation, which can all lead to a greater likelihood of a pregnancy.

For women in their first trimester of pregnancy, some studies have proven that acupuncture that targets the wrist area can reduce the vomiting and nausea associated with morning sickness.

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Does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture has been proven to treat a range of medical conditions, including mental, physical and neurological illnesses and conditions. These include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Respiratory conditions including rhinitis and sinusitis
  • Dental pain
  • Acute pain including back and neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • The common cold
  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pregnancy conditions like morning sickness
  • Fertility issues
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Labour induction and/or labour pain
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative vomiting and nausea

Your first acupuncture appointment: what to expect

Acupuncture aims to holistically treat the entire body, rather than just individual symptoms. Therefore, your first appointment may be longer so that your practitioner can explore your symptoms, diet, lifestyle and medical history. They may also ask you about your sleep habits, emotional health and sexual, digestive and urinary function depending on the nature of your complaint. This will enable them to gain a clear picture of the type of acupuncture that will benefit you most.

Because acupuncture practitioners often blend aspects of both Eastern and Western approaches to medicine, many also often have their own unique style of treatment.

Acupuncture points are located in all areas of the body, and sometimes the appropriate points aren’t actually in the area where you feel pain. Your practitioner will advise of the general sites of your treatment and whether or not you need to remove any clothing. A towel, sheet or gown may then be provided.

They may also examine:

  • The parts of your body that are painful
  • The colour, shape and coating of your tongue
  • The colour of your face
  • The rhythm, strength and quality of the pulse in your wrist

Treatment can either be performed sitting or lying down, and hair-thin, pre-sterilised, disposable stainless steel needles will be inserted into specific parts of your body. They will be inserted at various depths, and between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment session. The needles will usually remain in your body for between 10 and 20 minutes unless you are highly sensitive or not feeling well. During the session, your practitioner may also gently twirl or move the needles.

Other techniques they may use as part of a holistic treatment plan include:

  • Cupping — where suction brings blood to the acupuncture point.
  • Chinese herbs — that are either mixed by the acupuncturist or in a pre-prepared tablet or granulated form.
  • Traditional Chinese remedial massage – to target specific meridians or acupuncture points.

After a treatment, some people feel relaxed, others energised, and others may not respond at all. The number of treatments needed depends on your condition and its severity, but most people experience a reduction in symptoms within a few sessions. Once your practitioner feels balance has been restored and your body can take care of itself, further treatments may not be necessary.

Fertility acupuncture in Sydney

Some practitioners have suggested that acupuncture can stimulate blood flow to the uterus, ovaries and endometrium, assist menstruation and ovulation, and reduce stress and anxiety. This may encourage the ovaries to function at their peak and help to increase the thickness of the uterus lining. Acupuncture treatments may be undertaken when trying to conceive or during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Practitioners suggest acupuncture may also be beneficial if undertaken by women after several unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant.

Acupuncture may also benefit women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal disorder where women experience prolonged or infrequent periods or excess androgen levels. This often results in a woman developing numerous small collections of fluid (known as follicles), and fail to regularly release eggs. The specific aim here is to induce ovulation and regulate hormones.

IVF acupuncture in Sydney

For women preparing for an IVF cycle, acupuncture may assist in improving the menstrual cycle, regulating hormones and promoting ovulation. Some acupuncturists suggest a short treatment before and immediately after an embryo transfer, which can increase the chances of implantation. This is because it may serve to relax the uterus at the time of transfer — if it is undertaken at the correct time.

Because IVF treatments can be a stressful and emotional time, acupuncture may also assist with alleviating stress and allowing a woman’s body to function optimally. However, if you are already going through IVF treatment, it is essential to discuss any intention to undertake acupuncture with your fertility specialist first.

Achieving optimal health can also be beneficial for males pre-conception and acupuncture may assist in increasing sperm quality, count and motility. It can also improve their general health, including their weight, stress and energy levels and their cardiovascular health.

Acupuncture for morning sickness in Sydney

Experiencing morning sickness (commonly in the first trimester) can be very debilitating, and can include nausea, vomiting and dry retching. One of the most popular known acupuncture points is on the inside of the wrist, just above the base of the hand. Many practitioners will recommend several treatments within the first ten days from the onset of symptoms, and then only weekly treatments in the first trimester to keep nausea under control.

How to choose an acupuncturist

To get the safest and optimal treatment that will benefit your health and wellbeing, you should choose an acupuncturist who is fully accredited and qualified. ANTA has strict criteria for practitioner membership, so it’s simply a matter of searching our acupuncture directory via the form at the top of this page.

If you’d still like to find an acupuncture practitioner yourself, there are a number of things you should consider while searching.

Qualifications

You don’t need a doctor’s referral to see an acupuncturist, but they must have national and formally-recognised accreditation and be registered with AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). They should also have current malpractice insurance.

Laws

There are also several indirect laws that may apply to acupuncturists, including:

  • Drugs and poisoning scheduling this restricts access to herbs and herbal substances that are known to be toxic.
  • Skin penetration regulations — these emphasise the necessity of strict hygiene practices, such as using single-use, pre-sterilised and disposable acupuncture needles.
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration — this legislation requires Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) be adhered to for goods that claim to be sterile, which includes acupuncture needles. To be legally sold, acupuncture needles must be included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Up-to-date knowledge

The area of medicine advances over time, and it’s the same with acupuncture. To receive the most effective treatment, you should see an acupuncturist who uses the latest practises and techniques to deliver treatment and has up-to-date knowledge in their field.

Specialist areas

Some acupuncturists choose to specialise in certain areas, for example, pain relief, fertility issues or weight loss. For the best treatment, you should find out the specialisations of all acupuncturists you are considering so they can treat you effectively.

Cleanliness

As with any medical treatment, acupuncture must be performed in a sterilised area, and the clinical environment should be clean, tidy and not expose their clients to any risk of injury, risk or infection.

Acupuncture Sydney FAQs

#1 Does acupuncture hurt?

Many people assume that acupuncture hurts because there are needles involved. However, they are hair-thin and their insertion usually causes little discomfort. After insertion, most people only experience a slight tingling sensation or a mild ache, warmth or heaviness when the needle reaches the correct depth. These sensations show the treatment is working. However, many people don’t feel anything at all! If you do feel pain, it’s important to inform your acupuncturist.

#2 What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?

Both acupuncture and dry needling involve the insertion of thin needles into the body. However, they are both individual treatments with unique histories. Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice rooted in Chinese medicine that aims to alleviate pain or treat various health conditions by unblocking a patient’s energy flow or Qi.

Dry needling follows evidence-based guidelines and recommended “point” locations with the goal of relieving pain, addressing neuromuscular conditions and/or improving range of motion. Evidence supports that it can reduce muscle tension and normalise dysfunction at the sites where nerve impulses are transmitted to the muscles. This can help speed up the patient’s return to active rehabilitation.

#3 What are the risks of acupuncture?

Side effects can include soreness, bruising, fatigue, light-headedness and emotional sensitivity, but these typically disappear within a day or two. The risk of infection is also minimal if your practitioner uses sterile, disposable and single-use needles, which is now the industry standard. A qualified practitioner will also know how to insert needles correctly, which can minimise skin injuries, bruising and bleeding.

However, you may be at risk of complications if you:

  • Have a bleeding disorder — which can increase the likelihood of bruising or bleeding, particularly if you take blood thinners.
  • Are pregnant — some types of acupuncture are thought to stimulate labour, which could result in premature delivery.

To prevent the chance of adverse side effects, you should search for an accredited and qualified practitioner from our acupuncture directory, located at the top of this page.