What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the many skills used within physiotherapy as an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation and as a means of stimulating the body’s own healing chemicals in order to aid recovery and enhance rehabilitation.
Acupuncture within physiotherapy is used against the background of clinical and research evidence. The concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient system of written scripts as far back as 1000BC, founded on the holistic concept of treatment and an acknowledgement of the body’s ability to return to its balanced state of health, given the correct stimulus to do so.
Conventional Acupuncture involves the use 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 the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.
Trigger point Acupuncture, or dry needling, may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma, for longer term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid rehabilitation from sporting injuries. In trigger point Acupuncture the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30 minute treatment time.
There are certain health conditions that may stop you receiving acupuncture or mean that the treatment should be used with caution. Before receiving treatment these aspects would be discussed in full.