Acupuncture is a form of therapy in which fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body. It may be offered as part of your physiotherapy treatment and there is good evidence for its use. Acupuncture originated as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has been used for over 3000 years. Acupuncture combined with physiotherapy is now widely accepted within the NHS and private practice.
At PhysioPiltes Carlisle, our physiotherapists are fully qualified in acupuncture and are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP)
Does Acupuncture work?
Yes, but like any treatment, not for everybody. Success depends on a number of factors including your general health, how long you have been in pain and how painful your problem is.
What does acupuncture treatment involve?
Your physiotherapist will use sterile single use needles. The needles are very fine and are inserted thought the skin. Acupuncture is usually not painful, although sometimes people do experience either a pin prick or scratch sensation as the needle is inserted.
Once the needles are in place the physiotherapist may stimulate the needles until you feel a mild ache, numbness, warm or heavy sensation around the needle. This is referred to as “De Qi” and is a sign that the body’s pain relieving mechanisms are being stimulated.
How many needles will be used?
Most commonly treatment involves between 2 and 16 needles.
How long are the needles left in for?
Needles can be in place for anything from a few seconds to 40 minutes.
Where will the needles be placed?
The needles can be inserted in the painful area or away from it. Recent research suggests that placing needles away from your painful area works. This can be particularly useful if you are experiencing a lot of pain.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture
This is based on “yin and yang”. Pain occurs when there is too much of one and not enough of the other. The Chinese believe there are 12 channels of energy called meridians within our bodies. It is believed that balance between “yin and yang” can only occur when Qi (or energy) can freely flow through theses meridians. Acupuncture is felt to help release blockages within the meridian channels.
Acupuncture is thought to cause chemical changes in the area of the needle, and in the nervous system as a whole. The chemicals can improve the speed of healing and reduced pain. These include chemicals such as endorphins which create a sense of deep relaxation and well being.