What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture forms part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This ancient system of medicine dates back as far as 1000 years BC and is based on a holistic concept of treatment which regards ill health as a manifestation of imbalance in the body’s energy.
Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence that Acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain-relieving chemicals. It has also been shown to have other physiological effects on the body which assist the body’s healing processes.
Acupuncture can be used alongside other physiotherapy treatments to enhance recovery.
What does the treatment involve?
Conventional acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised disposable needles that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points. I will determine the locations of these points on the basis of an assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used during each treatment, and these are typically left in position for between 15 and 30 minutes before being removed.
Members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists are in a unique position to combine acupuncture with other treatment methods, such as:
- soft tissue mobilisation and massage
- neural mobilisation
- joint mobilisation
- posture re-education
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is safe when practised by a member of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) because of the strict hygiene guidelines that must be adhered to, and the training courses and educational updates that are required in order to stay on the membership register.
Please ask me if you are interested in having acupuncture as part of your physiotherapy treatment.
Acupuncture and headaches
In September 2012 NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) issued their guidelines for Headaches: Diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults.
Headaches are one of the most common neurological problems presented to GPs and neurologists.
As part of the management for tension-type headaches, it recommended a course of up to 10 sessions of acupuncture over 5–8 weeks for the prophylactic treatment of chronic tension-type headache.
What will your treatment involve?
I will carry out a detailed assessment of your headaches and ask you to fill in a headache diary over the following weeks to determine any pattern.
A treatment protocol will then be developed according to the assessment findings. This may involve acupuncture in conjunction with manual therapy and home exercises.
If you are not keen on trying acupuncture there are other modalities available to treat headaches.