What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture needles in man's back

Acupuncture, or sometimes called ‘needling’; is one of the most popular Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments. It involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. It’s believed to help balance the flow of vital energy, or “Qi,” and promote natural healing and wellness.


Traditional acupuncture vs Electroacupuncture

At PULSE, we provide the following forms of acupuncture:

Traditional acupuncture

Thin needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body and manipulated manually by hand to stimulate the points. The practitioner may gently twirl or tap the needles to elicit a therapeutic response. 

This is still primary form of acupuncture practiced by TCM physicians and is effective for a wide range of health concerns.


Rather than relying on the physician to manually stimulate the needles, an electroacupuncture machine is used. After the needles are inserted into the acupuncture points, electrodes are attached to the needles, and a mild electric current is passed through them.

This technique is thought to enhance the effects of acupuncture by providing continuous stimulation to the acupuncture points. The intensity of the current and stimulation can be adjusted based patients’ condition and comfort level. Electroacupuncture may be recommended by the physician for certain conditions, such as chronic pain, neurological conditions, paralysis and spasms.  


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How Does Acupuncture Work?

A TCM Perspective

According to Chinese medicine, the body has a network of pathways called meridians through which Qi flows. The smooth flow of Qi is believed to be essential for maintaining health.

Acupuncture points are located along these meridians. By inserting needles at specific points, acupuncture balances the flow of Qi along the meridians. By unblocking or redistributing Qi, health imbalances can be corrected. Different acupoints would be targeted to address different issues. 


A Scientific Perspective
Inserting needles into acupuncture points stimulates sensory nerves under the skin and in muscles. This stimulation sends signals to the brain and spinal cord, leading to the release of various endorphins (natural painkillers) and neurotransmitters.  This can result in pain relief and other therapeutic effects. 

The mechanisms of needle insertion can also:
Improve blood flow and circulation to the treated area
– Enhance the delivery of nutrients and oxygen
– Aid in the removal of waste products
– Trigger the production of immune system cells and growth factors, which encourages the body’s natural healing processes

Benefits of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the most widely used TCM treatments due to its wide-ranging therapeutic benefits for various health issues.  It can be used on its own as a primary treatment or in conjunction with other TCM treatments. 
Acupuncture is most commonly used to provide relief for the following issues (but not limited to):

  • Pains & aches
    Acupuncture is especially effective as a pain management method  (e.g. back pain, knee pain, frozen shoulder) . When executed proficiently by a qualified physician, patients often report almost instantaneous pain relief in treated areas.

In deciding which type of TCM treatment is best for you, it would be best to consult your particular condition a qualified TCM physician, who would conduct an assessment and recommend the best treatment tailored to your condition.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When acupuncture needles are not properly sterilised or handled,  there’s a risk of infection at the insertion sites. However, when performed by a trained and qualified practitioner using sterile needles, it is generally considered to be safe and low risk. At PULSE, our physicians follow  standardised safety & hygiene protocols for treatments, which include the use of sterile, single-use needles and prior disinfection of insertion sites. 

Most patients do not experience side effects from acupuncture. However, occasionally some might experience transient discomfort like nausea, dizziness or bruising, pain and slight bleeding from the needle insertion. Additionally, patients with alcohol allergies are advised to notify the attending physician prior treatment.

Is Acupuncture Painful?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, much finer than the needles used for injections or blood draws.

Many patients report that they barely felt anything while some describe the prick of acupuncture needles as a tingling sensation or pressure around the insertion point. 

Acupuncture sessions are designed to be relaxing. Many find the process calming and even fall asleep during treatment.

Some individuals may feel some soreness around the treated points post-treatment. However, this is not a cause for concern. It is believed to signify ‘stagnation’ in the treated areas

PULSE TCM Acupuncture Therapy

We offer a premium acupuncture experience for individuals seeking holistic wellness based on the f0llowing benefits:

Price: From $60*

Indicated price is for acupuncture per area/ailment. Not inclusive of GST and a TCM consultation (from $40)

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