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What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the many skills employed within physiotherapy as part of an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation.

Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence which shows that acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals such as:

  • Endorphins (promotes happiness)
  • Melatonin (promotes sleep)
  • Serotonin (promotes well-being)

These chemicals assist the body’s healing processes and offer pain relief as a precursor to other treatments such as manual therapy or exercise in order to aid recovery.

Your HealthSure physiotherapists are AACP (Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists) registered and combine traditional Chinese medicine principles with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting healing, always with the aim of enhancing physiotherapy treatments, such as exercise and rehabilitation techniques to promote recovery and improve quality of life.

Conventional Acupuncture

Conventional acupuncture involves the usage of single-use, pre-sterilised disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points. The physiotherapist will determine the locations of these points on the basis of an assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used during each treatment, and these are typically left in position for between 20 and 30 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following traumas, for longer-term unresolved muscle pain, or as a means of increasing muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation. In the latter case, the needle is inserted into the affected muscle until the tissue is felt to relax under the needle, which is then removed. Trigger point needling often produces an effect much more quickly, and therefore, does not require the 20–30 minute treatment time.

How Can Acupuncture Help Me?

There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence which has examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions and has found it to have significant benefits for a number of conditions, including:

  • Musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others)
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Infertility

Acupuncture is extremely effective when combined with physiotherapy, and it is widely accepted within both the National Health Service (NHS) and private practice. This is evident in the recommendation by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that acupuncture should be available as a cost-effective short-term treatment for persistent non-specific low back pain (source: NICE 2009).

For further information on acupuncture please do not hesitate to contact Healthsure Physiotherapy for further details.