OK so I wrote a little bit before about the various styles of acupuncture available in Australia. Then, well, one thing led to another, and I ended up doing a poll of acupuncturists…
Here’s a snapshot of just how many styles of acupuncture are available in Australia and beyond. It’s a lovely diverse picture.
Who did I ask?
I put polls in two Facebook groups for Australian Acupuncturists – TCM Practitioners Share Group Australia, and the Australian Chinese Medicine Union Group. Then I got interested in an international comparison, so I put one in a big international group, with a big US membership, called Acupuncturists on Facebook.
What did I ask ’em?
This was my question:
“Pop quiz! What style of acupuncture are you practising? (As a primary approach within your practice, not something you might add in from time to time ?) “
I created a few answers, and left it open for people to add additional ones of their own. Answers popped up that I’d never heard of ! Love it.
What did I find?
Unsurprisingly, given the rich ancient tapestry that is Traditional East Asian Medicine, many styles of acupuncture are available in Australia.
Truthfully, there’s stuff in there that I don’t know too much about myself. I look forward to learning more one day! When I get to pick the brains of my fabulous colleagues, or when I go to a mind blowing seminar about yet another beautiful part of our heritage of wisdom on health and medicine.
How does this compare to overseas?
Well, there are some common themes. TCM and distal styles are popular, and there’s a broad spread of styles. Japanese styles look a little less popular overseas, and Five Element a bit more so, but we’re bumping up against the limitations of my little poll here. And who knew there was a whole ‘orthopedics’ style of acupuncture? Great stuff.
One difference that does maybe jump out is that the overseas participants look to be more likely to be practising a single style of acupuncture, rather than a combination of styles. Make of that what you will.
Is there a ‘best’ style?
I luuuuurve the two styles I practice – TCM and Five Element. But over the years I’ve received amazing treatments from acupuncturists using other styles too.
None of this is about a better or worse style, just finding a great fit for you. I tend to think that individual patients are drawn to the right practitioners for them.
If I’m looking for a particular kind of therapy or treatment for myself, I tend to be less worried about which style they belong to (chiropractic vs. osteopathy, anyone?), and more about finding a recommendation for a really great practitioner.
Is there any more data out there?
Not on this exact topic, as far as I can find. It doesn’t seem like either AHPRA, our regulator, or AACMA, the largest professional body, collect info on our styles of acupuncture.
And I should emphasise that there’s nothing scientific about my results. Even just collating the answers from Facebook was a bit of a messy manual process.
But anyway, my little poll gives an interesting flavour of what may be out there.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Medicine Board of AHPRA does publish other interesting data on Australia’s acupuncturists in their annual report.
And Jason Chong, over on the east coast, did a great survey and blog post about how much acupuncture costs across Australia. I followed that up with a little bit myself on the cost of acupuncture in Perth.
Wow I’m feeling all fired up and I want to book some acupuncture!
Yes! Quite right too. Get in touch and we’ll get started.