What is Medical Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of complementary medicine that involves the stimulation of nerves and muscle in specific anatomical locations, usually via insertion of fine needles through the skin, at specific points on the body. It is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), itself thought to date back at least 2000 years.
Western Medical Acupuncture adapts traditional acupuncture to incorporate the principles of evidence-based medicine and current understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology. It is used by conventional healthcare practitioners, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors.
Acupuncture produces a number of different physiological effects, via stimulation of the peripheral nervous system, and has been widely researched for its ability to relieve pain. It is known to promote the release of opioid peptides - the body's 'natural painkillers' - in the brain and spinal cord. It has also been shown to inhibit ascending pain pathways and to improve blood flow to the area treated.
How can Medical Acupuncture help me?
Medical Acupuncture is most widely used in the treatment of pain. The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) currently recommends consideration of acupuncture in the treatment of:
- Chronic tension type headache
Medical acupuncture is also frequently used in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, including:
- Myofascial pain: Pain in muscles and their surrounding tissue
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity"
-World Health Organisation
What can I expect from a Medical Acupuncture Treatment?
An initial session usually lasts 1 hour, during which time a full medical and lifestyle history is taken. In some cases, your GP/ specialist may need to have agreed to acupuncture as an appropriate treatment for your condition. The treatment and its aims are then fully explained, with the opportunity for you to raise any concerns or questions you may have.
The choice of specific acupuncture points is then made; their location and quantity are based on your underlying condition and symptoms. The treatment involves gentle insertion of very fine single use sterile needles into these points, at varying depths. Once the needles are in place, they may be left in position for varying lengths of time, ranging from very briefly up to 20 minutes.
Who provides Medical Acupuncture?
Price and Booking