Acupuncture is a treatment first pioneered by the Chinese and used for thousands of years in various forms. Traditionally, acupuncture involves the application of very fine needles. However, laser light is being used increasingly, with the same results.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment that can relieve the symptoms of many physical and psychological conditions. It is generally safer than most conventional treatments, when used by trained practitioners.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific acupuncture points on the body’s surface, either through the use of needles or laser.
This stimulation of points triggers the nerves in the skin, muscle and other tissues to produce a variety of effects on most of the systems of the body.
These include, but are not limited to, the release of the body’s natural painkillers, modifying the way pain signals are processed by the brain.
Acupuncture not only reduces pain, but also has a positive effect on the overall health of some people, with most patients noting an improved “sense of wellbeing” following treatment.
What is medical acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture is not meant to imply that only medical doctors use it. Rather, this approach to acupuncture is based on current scientific understanding of the structure and function of the body. This is the fundamental difference from the traditional Chinese approach.
The essential features of treatment with Medical Acupuncture are:
- Conventional methods of medical history and examination are used, in conjunction with clinical investigations if necessary, to establish a conventional diagnosis
- The conditions that can be influenced by acupuncture are decided upon
- Appropriate treatment is given is a dose tailored to the individual.
- The treatment is repeated according to the patient’s initial response, and the changes they report over subsequent days
Medical acupuncture CANNOT treat every medical condition, NOR every individual.
What conditions respond to acupuncture?
Acupuncture is effective for a wide range of painful conditions. It is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain in the back, neck, shoulder and leg. It has also been successfully used in the treatment of headaches, migraine, 'trapped nerves', chronic muscle strain, and for various kinds of arthritic pain.
Acupuncture can also be used to treat:
- Menstrual and menopausal symptoms
- Pelvic pain
- Pregnancy related issues, such as nausea and backache
- Functional bowel and bladder problems (e.g. irritable Bowel Syndrome and Irritable Bladder Syndrome)
- Certain allergicconditions such as hayfever, perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis.
The above list is not exhaustive with many other conditions also responding to acupuncture. Please contact us to see if Acupuncture may be appropriate for you (or your patient).