Acupuncture is used by physiotherapists, against a background of sound research and evidence, as a means of reducing pain, inflammation or muscle spasm via the stimulation of the brain, spinal cord and local tissues to produce a natural pain relieving effect.
Conventional acupuncture should not be painful and involves the use of very fine, single use, pre-sterilised disposable needles. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-35 minutes before being gently removed. A quicker technique of trigger point acupuncture may also be recommended to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles.
Research has shown that most people gain pain relief from acupuncture and this is generally due to the release of endorphins into the body during the acupuncture process. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers. The scientific proof of the release of endorphins allows acupuncture to be integrated with conventional medicine. Clinical trials provide evidence that it has a powerful and sustained effect on muscular/skeletal pain. It is now commonly used in general practice, physiotherapy departments and pain clinics as a complement to conventional medicine.
Acupuncture does not work for everybody or for every condition, but good results are frequently achieved. Although only one or two sessions may sometimes be required, the effect of acupuncture is generally a cumulative process. Pain relief builds up as treatment progresses with some responding rapidly whilst others may take more time. Chronic conditions often take longer to respond. Occasionally symptoms may become worse at first, but often then respond very well after any initial phase of discomfort.
Acupuncture is safe when practised by a member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist (AACP) because of strict hygiene guidelines, training courses and education updates required to stay on the membership register.
To find out if acupuncture is the right course of therapy for you, you can speak to a member of our team via the contact page.