David understands what it means to be fit and healthy as he loves his exercise and martial arts style of training.
So I decided to put him on the DPM Hotseat to help explain what acupuncture is and to break down the myth that traditional chinese medicine is a bit of a crock in a Western world.
DPM: David, what is acupuncture?
DW: Acupuncture is one method of the medical system known as Chinese medicine. It is most often associated with the insertion of fine (hair-like) needles into the skin and tissues.
The theory behind acupuncture comes from an ancient understanding of how human beings are a reflection of the natural environment that surrounds them. Many people would have heard of Yin Yang, a philosophy of opposition, balance and change.
This idea was adapted to the body where the understanding of the substances, organs, physical and mental components of the person could be divided into Yin or Yang properties.
Acupuncture aims at ensuring these properties are of relative balance with one another through the stimulation of specific areas or points along pathways known as "channels". These channels are like a communication and transportation network between the physical structure of muscles, bone, organs etc and the mental / emotional component of the person. They are like a river system that runs through the body.
Acupuncture is not just about the insertion of needles into the skin. Depending on the diagnosis of the condition a practitioner may use insertion or non-insertion needles, cupping or scraping and moxibustion (the burning of herbal substance over a certain area).
Acupuncture will vary from person to person in regards to techniques, strength, and adjunct methods used. It will also vary from practitioner to practitioner depending on their training.
DPM: Is acupuncture just for back pain injuries (like you treated with me) or can it be used anywhere?
DW: There is very little that Acupuncture and Chinese medicine cannot help with. One must remember that it is a complete medical practice that has been around and maintaining the health of one of the worlds first and largest civilisations for over 2200 years.
Chinese medicine views the body from a different medical model than that of western medicine. It always assess the individual and diagnosis is based on specific methodologies. So Acupuncture can be used in the treatment and management of almost any disorder – naturally there are limitations such as severe chronic disease and trauma.
As an examle, in my practice on an average day i would see patients with back pain, headaches, gastric diseases such as IBS or crohns, post-stroke patients, infertility, anxiety and stress disorders, epilepsy, paralysis (such as facial paralysis / Bells Palsy and spinal cord injury) and so on.
DPM: I guess a question a lot of people have is does acupuncture hurt?
DW: This is the most common question asked about acupuncture. Again this depends on the practitioner – some styles of acupuncture are very light some are very intense. Within my style of acupuncture (known as "Neijing Acupuncture" or "Classical Acupuncture") we are trained to do what works.
So sometimes patients will feel what i am doing and sometimes they will not. I always try to explain to my patients why they may feel certain sensations such as heaviness, heat or aching during acupuncture.
This is medicine after all and each disorder must be approached seriously. It is rare, however, that one would feel sharp, stabbing pain associated with needles (hypo-dermic needles/injections etc).
DPM: David I know you have definitely helped my back get back to normal so where are you located so others can benefit from your services?
DW: I operate two clinics in Sydney.
Sydney CBD: 123 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW. (02) 9299 6688
St. Leonards: 3 / 41 Herbert Street, St. Leonards, NSW (02) 9906 7777
In wrapping up I definitely recommend David White – apart from being a good guy he is very good at what he does and doesn't just treat your sore spot but everything that contributes to it.