Acupuncture for tennis elbow is covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) of New Zealand. Most of the acupuncture treatment costs will be covered for up to 22 sessions from acupuncturists who are members of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc. (NZRA). Each acupuncture session can take up to an hour. There are over 500 members in the NZRA throughout New Zealand.
There are a number of different specialist acupuncture styles practised by NZRA members including those members who have trained in Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. Other practitioners have sought extra training under the United States Sports Medicine Acupuncture specialist Matt Callison with the unique use of applying acupuncture to motor points. Matt Callison has been delivering seminars in New Zealand on a regular basis for over ten years to members of the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc.
Modern medical treatment or traditional acupuncture for tennis elbow?
Most people with tennis elbow have usually sought the diagnosis with their GP or physiotherapist but modern medical treatments for this condition are generally unsatisfactory. People are seeking alternatives to strapping, rest and cortisone injections because of their limited success. Tennis stars like Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis and Maria Sharapova have all resorted to acupuncture for tennis elbow because of proven clinical results. The New Zealand government owned insurance company ACC covers acupuncture for the treatment of tennis elbow.
What other traditional acupuncture techniques hasten tennis elbow recovery?
In addition to acupuncture for tennis elbow, practitioners may use a number of different Chinese medicine techniques which are all covered under the scope of practice by acupuncturists in the New Zealand Register of Acupuncturists Inc. These additional treatments are outlined below.
Electroacupuncture – uses a gentle electric current connected to the needles to stimulate endorphins release which lessens pain.
Gua Sha– a technique where the skin is scraped with a spoon and some oil to mobilise blood circulation.
Moxibustion – where the herb mugwort is burnt near the surface of the skin at the acupuncture point to heat up the area to increase stem cell proliferation into the injured area.
Cupping – where a small vacuum cup is placed on the muscles to help promote relaxation.
Tui Na – a specialized variety of Chinese massage techniques to mobilise the joint and reduce swelling.
Are the acupuncture points only inserted at the elbow?
In addition to having needles placed locally at the elbow near the site of the problem the acupuncturist will also most likely place needles away from the problem such as in the stomach or the legs. These points are often used to supplement the energy and improve the basic health and constitution of the patient to accelerate the healing response.