What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the many skills we use in physiotherapy alongside other treatments in the management of pain and inflammation.
Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects, including increasing the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received, and therefore helps to reduce your pain.
Does acupuncture work?
Yes, but not for everyone.
Success can depend on a number of factors including general health, the severity and duration of the condition and how the condition has been managed in the past.
What does acupuncture involve?
Treatment will consist of the insertion of fine needles. These are high quality, sterilised and disposable ensuring strict hygiene practice. The needle insertion will feel like a mild pinprick and should only give temporary discomfort. No medication is introduced to your body. Once the needles are in place you may feel a mild ache, numbness, warm or heavy sensation at and around the needle but it shouldn’t be unpleasant.
This is referred to as “De Qi” and is a sign that the body’s in-built pain relieving mechanisms are being stimulated.
Your physiotherapist may gently stimulate the needle until you experience the De Qi.
How many treatments do I need?
Treatment might be once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition responds. A typical course of treatment is 5-8 sessions.
Is acupuncture safe?
All of our physiotherapists are fully trained in the management of a wide range of conditions and treatment choice will be based on sound clinical reasoning and a holistic view of the presenting problem. As a procedure that involves inserting needles into the body, it does pose some problems, but these are minimal. Acupuncture has been known to produce some side effects in certain people.
We can talk to you about it, answer any questions and put your mind at ease before treatment begins.
You can download our Acupuncture Consent Form here.