The benefits of Acupuncture – A In-depth Explanation

Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that can be traced back to at least 2,500 years ago. Over the last few years, this method of treatment has received growing interest in Singapore.

More medical professionals (i.e. doctors and dentists) are now becoming accredited acupuncturists. As an experienced TCM physician who has a special interest in performing acupuncture treatments, I’m writing this post to help you understand how it all works.

I hope this post will help to shed some light for those of you who are interested in going for acupuncture treatments.

It covers important points that my patients, friends, as well as family often ask me about, such as:

  • How does acupuncture work?
  • The cost of TCM acupuncture treatment in Singapore
  • How to find a trusted TCM clinic for acupuncture treatment in Singapore

What does acupuncture do?

yin and yang illustration with a needle

TCM believes that diseases are a result of the imbalance of the “Yin”, “Yang”, “Qi”, and blood in your body. This can be attributed to various causative factors that could lead to either “excess” or “deficiency” syndrome (or both) in your body.

This is where acupuncture comes into play. Acupuncture is applied to specific body parts, which helps to restore the imbalance in the body by either:

  • Removing the “excess” or
  • Replenishing the “deficiency” syndrome.

Treatments in TCM such as acupuncture, herbal prescriptions, cupping, tui na, and others work to bring back the balance within your body.

meridians of the body

Through a TCM consultation, your physician is able to make a diagnosis through syndrome differentiation and conclude on the meridians and the organs affected.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

patient in a robe receiving acupuncture

First of all, fine needles are inserted into the acupressure points along the meridians on your body. This is to stimulate the acupoints to bring out the therapeutic effects.

Then, the acupuncturist will decide on the:

  • Depth and direction of the needles
  • Duration of the treatment
  • Specific techniques to induce the needle sensations

When the “Qi” flows smoothly in your body, your body heals.

What are the benefits of acupuncture?

TCM sees the human body as an organic whole, which is divided into “Yin” and “Yang”.

When “Yin” and “Yang” are in harmony, “Qi” flows freely within the body and a person is healthy.

When there is an imbalance of “Yin” and “Yang”, the flow of “Qi” is obstructed, and this manifests itself in ailments and sickness.

Acupuncture serves to:

  • Restore a healthy balance of “Yin” and “Yang”
  • Clear blockage within the meridians and strengthen vital “Qi”

This helps to reinforce the immune system to prevent you from falling ill.

Acupuncture can also help to cure diseases and alleviate pain by promoting the flow of “Qi” and blood.

What training and certification that is needed to perform acupuncture treatments in Singapore?

a figurine with meridians

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board, anyone who wishes to practise acupuncture in Singapore must either be:

  • Locally registered as a doctor or dentist
  • Registered as a TCM physician

Singapore registered doctors and dentists must complete acupuncture training courses recognized by the TCM Practitioners Board.

singapore tcm physicians registration examination

In Singapore, it is mandatory for all acupuncturists to pass examinations from the TCM Practitioners Board in order to obtain a licence to practice acupuncture.

There are two different types of examinations acupuncturists have to pass:

  • Singapore Acupuncturists Registration Examination
  • Singapore TCM Physicians Registration Examination

Are all acupuncturists in Singapore governed by the Ministry of Health?

tcm regulatory boards in singapore tcmpb singapore

The Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB) is a statutory board that registers both acupuncturists and TCM physicians.

TCMPB is under the regulation of the Ministry of Health.


Acupuncture is recognised by the World Health Organization

world health organisation logo

The World Health Organization has recognized that acupuncture has been proven, through controlled trials, to be an effective treatment for various conditions such as:

  • Headaches of various origins
  • Pain management
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Allergic rhinitis
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