What is Acupuncture?
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture:
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine, dating back to 1000 BC. It is traditionally based on a holistic treatment concept that regards ill health as a manifestation of an imbalance in the body’s energy. Therefore, they believe acupuncture re-establishes the body’s balance of energy. Energy is referred to as Qi and is described in terms of yin and yang. Yin energy is calming whereas yang energy is exciting and vigorous and when the body is healthy, these two systems are equally balanced.
Traditional Chinese belief is that energy flows freely throughout the body, via channels. However, when there is an injury or pain, the energy is blocked. Therefore, in Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to restore the normal energy flow throughout the body, which in turns helps with pain.
Modern western acupuncture has shown that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce endorphins. These pain relieving chemicals promote blood flow and healing and therefore aim to relieve pain.
What are the benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce pain relieving chemicals such as endorphins, melatonin (helps us sleep) and serotonin (to promote well-being) among others. These chemicals work to assist the body’s healing processes and offer pain relief for musculoskeletal conditions.
Acupuncture can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal and is most commonly used for low back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain and tennis elbow and there is increasing amount of literature supporting its efficacy.
Acupuncture can be used as an adjunct to conventional physiotherapy treatment such as manual therapy and exercise, as a means to stimulate the body to heal itself to reduce pain. The combination of treatment approaches is said to be more likely to lead to successful rehabilitation.
What does Acupuncture involve?
Acupuncture is a safe form of treatment and involves inserting a number of sterile fine disposable needles in specific acupuncture points (along the channels of blocked energy) or into trigger points of tight and painful muscles. They aim to stimulate the circulation of energy (Qi) to restore the balance between Yin and Yang.
There will be a slight pin prick when the needles are inserted and should only give temporary discomfort. The number of needles used will vary and will be dependent on the condition and location of pain and they can be left between 10-30 minutes at a time before being removed. However, acupuncture does not involve an injection of a pain relieving substance.
How many Acupuncture sessions do I need to have?
The number of sessions will vary and depends on how the body responds to it. Positive changes in pain levels may be seen straight away but it can sometimes take up to three sessions to see a noticeable difference. For further advice, please refer to your Physiotherapist.
Are Physiotherapist’s trained in Acupuncture?
The Physiotherapists at Cayley Physiotherapy have post graduate training in musculoskeletal acupuncture and are registered with the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists. Therefore you can be assured of our knowledge and obligation to adhere to the highest standards of practice.
To book an appointment contact Cayley Physiotherapy today.