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. Evidence suggests acupuncture enhances pain modulation via the stimulation of the brain and spinal cord to produce NATURAL pain relieving chemicals, such as endorphins; melatonin to promote sleep, serotonin to promote well being. The concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM] 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.
The body has the ability to “self repair; the use of Acupuncture and Acupressure enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time. This allows other physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, muscle strengthening and rehabilitation to achieve more effective results.
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 may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries . Here 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 may sometimes be a mild and momentary sensation when a needle is inserted. It is not however a painful process and indeed many people find the treatment itself very relaxing. The initial treatments and follow up sessions are thirty minutes in duration.
Some people may feel significant improvements after the first treatment, however, the severity of the complaint, how long it has been present and a person’s general health are all factors in how many treatments will be needed to restore health.
You may have already been recommended acupuncture, or you might just be considering if it could benefit your symptoms. Please call our team who will be happy to advise you – 0118 9462299.