Applying acupressure. Photo Meridican.

Ele McIntyre

Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, has been around for thousands of years and incorporates various treatment methods, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, tuina chinese massage and acupressure, moxa heat therapy, food therapy, and qigong. Originating in China, TCM is now practiced throughout the world.

The aim of TCM is to achieve balance and harmony in our lives. The concept is to proactively keep the body healthy, or to help regain that balance in the event of illness, injury and/or pain.

The theory of yin and yang, which you may have heard of, is that of opposing concepts which together form a whole, or a continuing process, for example, night and day, dark and light, cold and hot, soft and hard, feminine and masculine, movement and quiet stillness. Illness may occur if yin or yang are out of balance. TCM aims to achieve a harmony of yin and yang appropriate to the person being treated.

Acupuncture forms a substantial part of TCM, which is why you may have heard of it more than other TCM therapies. It involves insertion of very fine needles into areas of the body, to help the body realign and rebalance. Because the needles are so fine, clients are often surprised to know that treatment has commenced. Depending on the practitioner’s own practices, other methods of TCM mentioned above may be used alongside or instead of this treatment. I personally find a combination of therapies, selected to each client, to be most effective, and regularly incorporate cupping or massage into my treatments.

A comprehensive review of acupuncture issued in February 2017, The Acupuncture Evidence Project, identified many conditions for which acupuncture was effective to various degrees, including migraine prevention, chronic low back pain, headaches, knee osteoarthritis and allergic rhinitis, and to a lesser extent, acute low back pain, neck pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression and shoulder pain, amongst many others. The full list of conditions can be found in the Acupuncture Evidence Project.

Registered Acupuncturists are required to complete a four year Bachelor of Health degree focused on acupuncture and TCM. They are required to complete hundreds of hours of in clinic training before being registered. Because of the use of needles, the practices are strictly regulated in terms of health and safety. Acupuncturists are also prohibited from using any testimonials on web sites or any social media pages they manage, to ensure integrity in their practices.

There are many therapists appearing in this year’s issue of Byron Healing Magazine and Byron Healing website – take a look and see who and what resonates with you.

Author Bio

Ele McIntyre is a registered practitioner at Ele McIntyre Acupuncture in Byron Bay. As a sole practitioner operating her own boutique acupuncture business practice, Ele is able to dedicate time to focus on her clients’ needs. Having worked as a corporate lawyer in Sydney and Brisbane for many years, Ele knows personally about the importance of balance and harmony, and that sometimes assistance is needed to regain that balance.

Ele can be contacted on 0412 65 65 63 or