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Acupuncture Awareness week

Acupuncture awareness week is the 12th- 17th March 2018 which aims to better inform people about the practice of acupuncture. As acupuncture is offered by many of our physiotherapists here at the Wimbledon Clinic who are all members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) we want to share some of that knowledge with you.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of treatment that promotes healing. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body. 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. This allows other physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, muscle strengthening and rehabilitation to achieve more effective results.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine having been used in China for over 3,000 years. Traditional Chinese belief is that energy flows freely throughout the body, via channels. When there is a problem the energy stagnates. Stimulation by acupuncture, at various points, helps to restore the healthy flow of energy in the body.

Modern science has shown that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce natural pain relieving chemicals (endorphins). These assist the body to heal itself and give pain relief.

There are over 500 acupuncture points on the body. These points are places on your body that are thought to affect the way that your organs and tissues function.

What happens in an Acupuncture treatment?

The Physiotherapist will complete a thorough assessment/examination of your symptoms in order to establish if acupuncture is an appropriate form of treatment for you and if so to determine the locations of the Acupuncture points that will best suit your needs. Treatment will consist of the insertion of fine needles that are single use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points.

The needle insertion may feel like a mild pinprick and should only give temporary discomfort. You may feel a tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but it should not be painful. The number of needles used will vary (Normally 8-12) and may be left in place for up to 20 minutes or more. It can sometimes take several treatments to produce a noticeable benefit.

Acupuncture needles are often inserted into trigger points (tight sensitive areas in the muscles) to relieve pain and restore movement.

How does it work and what are the benefits?

Acupuncture is used by Physiotherapists, against a background of sound clinical research and evidence, as a means of enhancing 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 wellbeing, to name but a few. These assist the body’s healing process and offer pain relief as a precursor for other manual or exercise therapy. Physiotherapists are in a unique position of being able to combine acupuncture with other treatment methods such as exercises, manipulation and stretching. This combined approach is more likely to lead to successful rehabilitation. There is robust evidence supporting acupuncture as an effective pain relief option

 

What can be treated with Acupuncture?

Physiotherapists use acupuncture to relieve pain for a number of conditions:

  • Back pain and sciatica
  • Migraine and headache
  • Muscular and joint pain
  • Whiplash injury and neck pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis.

 If you would like any further information regarding acupuncture or how it may help you please do not hesitate to call us or send an e-mail to enquiries@wimbledonphysio.co.uk . We also have some information leaflets in reception if you would like to call in to pick one up.