What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that promotes healing. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body. It has been used for thousands of years in China and more recently since the 1970s in Western Medicine.
What does acupuncture treatment involve?
It will be necessary to complete a thorough assessment/examination of your symptoms in order to establish if acupuncture is an appropriate form of treatment for you. It is therefore important that you give an accurate account of your medical history and any medication that you are taking. The selection of specific points on your body is based on your condition and the presentation of symptoms. These can be inserted close to the painful area or away from it and in some cases on the opposite side of your body. Acupuncture is not suitable for everyone it is not advised if you are needle phobic or if you have a known infection in the area to be treated. Any medical conditions that would prevent you receiving acupuncture treatment would be identified through completing a medical questionnaire and you would be asked to complete a ‘consent to treatment’ form.
How long will the needles be in for?
This will vary according to your condition. More commonly needles are left in place for between 5 – 30 minutes. The initial treatment may be short in order to gauge your response to treatment and subsequent treatments will be based upon this response.
How many treatment sessions will be required?
The number of treatment sessions can vary. Some patients respond quickly while others require a longer course of treatment before the cumulative benefits are felt. Usually those with chronic conditions require more treatment. It is usual to have treatment performed on a weekly basis in order to improve the outcome.
How many needles will be used?
Most commonly a treatment will involve the insertion of between 2 – 10 needles.
Is acupuncture painful?
When acupuncture needles are inserted a sharp pricking sensation may be felt which should be temporary and give only mild discomfort. Once in you may get a sensation of an ache or a sensation which is hard to describe (this is known as DeQi). If we are trying to directly release a muscle, or a trigger point, you may feel the muscle twitch.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is safer than the many of the drug treatments used. However, any procedure that involves inserting needles into the body has some potential problems but these remain minimal. Needles used are therefore single-use, sterile and disposable. As a physiotherapist practising acupuncture Laura is bound by strict codes of practice to ensure that treatment is safe, sterile and hygienic at all times.
Are there any side-effects?
Some minor side effects may be experienced during or after treatment, but these are rare.
They are as follows:
- Bruising or local bleeding.
- Light headedness/fainting.
- Local soreness.
- Allergy to the needles.
How does acupuncture work and is it effective?
It is proposed that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system through the release of special chemicals in the body which can help to alleviate pain and reduce the perception of pain. There is robust evidence supporting acupuncture as an effective pain relief option. It does not necessarily benefit all patients, but frequently, good results are achieved when more conventional treatment has failed. Laura often uses a dry needling Western technique where the muscles are directly stimulated by the needle encouraging them to release, this can produce the same effects as a massage.
Laura will often use Acupuncture in conjunction with other Physiotherapy treatments however it can be used as a stand alone procedure. To book an appointment with Laura, or for questions you might have, call 07738224861 or use the contact form HERE.