Will Acupuncture help treat my condition?

This is always a good question and sometimes a complicated one. We can quote the World Health Organization’s recommended list for “Conditions that Acupuncture Treats” – successfully with much research to back it up.

But how helpful really is this?

Let’s take a condition like LOWER BACK PAIN – this is the first one on the WHO list. Does acupuncture work for lower back pain? Yes, the benefits of acupuncture are well documented in this area, with lots of research to back it up as being very successful in treating this condition.

However – let’s take a look at this for a moment – the reality is that the benefits of acupuncture for you will be dependent upon a number of factors, as follows:

  1. The greater the pain range the greater the probability of success, i.e. if the pain scale ranges from 2 to 8 out of 10, there is likely to be a better chance of success than if the pain range is from 5 to 6 out of 10 and NEVER changes from that 24/7.
  2. The length of time that the pain has persisted, i.e. the pain scale 2 to 8 out of 10 that has only been apparent for a couple of months has a much greater chance of success than the 5 to 6 out of 10 that has been persisting for 20 years.
  3. The persons overall health, i.e. how well does the body react to treatment and how healthy is that body
  4. The age of the person, a young fit person will have a greater chance of recovery than an older person who has a sedentary lifestyle
  5. Medications (including recreational drugs and alcohol). These put extra stress on the body which will take away from the body’s innate capability for self healing when stimulated with treatment
  6. Mental attitude. There is no doubt in my mind that the mental attitude of the person coupled with their ability to comply with treatment protocols also makes a huge difference

At Austin Therapies Acupuncture Brisbane Clinic we don’t just look at one factor, but ALL of them when making an assessment of prognosis. This is then only a guide as every acupuncturist will tell you stories of fantastic results with just ONE treatment and these are very real. However, this is not the average expected outcome.

Therefore, acupuncture is an excellent modality to use for your lower back pain, however when determining the prognosis for your particular condition all 6 areas – as listed above – need to be taken into consideration. Even then there are the extremes at both ends of the spectrum, i.e. the condition that is cured with one treatment and the one that shows no improvement or very little improvement at all for no apparent reason.

This way of thinking can be used to determine the likely prognosis for most conditions, substituting the pain scale for your back pain with a symptom scale for all your signs and symptoms, i.e. on a scale of 1 to 10 – how debilitating are your symptoms? Do they range from say 3 to 9 out of 10 and have only been apparent for a couple of months or is the range 6 to 7 out of 10 and been very long term. Taking everything into account the former condition is likely to have a better and quicker outcome.

With more chronic conditions acupuncture is still a very good modality to use even if the prognosis is not likely to be a complete cure. You may have to ask yourself – what kind of improvement to my condition would I be happy with? An intermittent pain / symptom scale of 1 to 2 out of 10 which is intermittent is a whole lot different to 6 to 7 out of 10 which is constant. Taking everything else into account, this could be a very realistic prognosis for your condition. At Austin Therapies – Chinese Herbalist Brisbane – we can also add Traditional Chinese Herbs to enhance your outcome.

So, does acupuncture work? At Austin Therapies we recognise that every therapy has its strengths and weaknesses as does every body. There will be times when treatment outcomes using your chosen modality, whatever that might be, will come as a surprise – good or poor.

The important thing to recognise here is that if treatment is not working for you – you need to change either the treatment or something within your lifestyle or both.

At Austin Therapies at our Acupuncture Clinic Brisbane we like to work in closely with Western Medicine protocols and other practitioners. We will always refer you to another modality if we are not getting the results that you desire.


For an OBLIGATION FREE 30 minute HEALTH ASSESSMENT to discuss your health concerns, please call Sally on 0421 411 508.