Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine. It has evolved over the last 2000 years and forms part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Your physiotherapist may choose to use acupuncture as part of your rehabilitation and pain relieving treatment. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, (natural pain relieving chemicals) that can have a powerful effect on reducing pain. According to TCM theory acupuncture helps to stimulate the movement of “Qi” (pronounced Chee) or “energy” within the body. When Qi is unable to flow freely then pain, disease and disability can occur.
Why a physiotherapist?
Chartered physiotherapists who are members of the AACP (Acupuncture Association of Physiotherapy) have all attained a national standard of training and are regulated by the Health Professions Council. We work closely with GP’s and hospital consultants. We are uniquely positioned to use acupuncture to complement other aspects of physiotherapy.
Who can have Acupuncture?
People of all age groups are suitable for acupuncture but it will not be suitable for you if you have a needle phobia or are allergic to certain metals, especially stainless steel.
Certain medical conditions call for caution. They are:
• Heart Pacemaker
• If you are on blood thinning medication
• If you are pregnant
Your physiotherapist will be happy to discuss whether acupuncture is a suitable treatment for you.
How is it done?
Your physiotherapist will insert very fine, sterile, single-use needles into specific acupuncture points. These may be at the site of pain, away from the pain (in your hands or feet) or even on the opposite side of the body.
Once the needles are in the physiotherapist will gently stimulate them until you experience a sensation known as “De Qi” .This sensation varies from person to person but it should not be painful.
The needles are left in for anything from 1-2 minutes to 10-30 minutes. A typical session will last 30 minutes.
You are likely to need several sessions.
Your physiotherapists will talk to you about how you may feel afterwards.
Does Acupuncture work?
Research has shown that most people gain relief of pain with acupuncture. It can be immediate or may take a few sessions to take effect. You do not have to believe in it for it to work! Occasionally your pain may worsen at first, this is usually a good sign but do talk to your physiotherapist about it.
Are there any side effects?
You may feel a little drowsy after treatment. You are advised not to drive long distances following acupuncture.
You may develop a small bruise at the needle site.
Very occasionally people feel light headed or faint. You should tell your physiotherapist if you experience any of these side effects.
How is acupuncture done?
Does Acupuncture work?