Acupuncture has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In Western Medicine, it is becoming an accepted practice for pain relief as the evidence for it’s effectiveness grows. At our clinics, we use conventional acupunture, primarily for pain relief as an adjunct to core Physiotherapy treatments. All our practitioners are registered with the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP), which demands all our clinicians underatake a minimum amount of Continuous Professional Development to keep up to date with advances and skills in practicing acupuncture .
As Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists members we combine TCM principles with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting healing, always with the aim of enhancing physiotherapy treatments such as exercise and rehabilitation techniques to promote recovery and improve quality of life.
Scientific research has examined the effectiveness of acupuncture for various conditions. In recent years large studies have begun to emerge which have helped to support the benefits of acupuncture treatment. For example it is accepted that acupuncture can help tension-type headaches and pain of osteoarthritis, for example osteoarthritis of the knee, especially when it is used in conjunction with other treatments such as physiotherapy.
Conventional acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the acupuncture points. The physiotherapist 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 20 and 30 minutes before being removed.
Trigger point acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following traumas, for longer-term unresolved muscle pain, or as a means of increasing muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation. In the latter case, the needle is inserted into the affected muscle until the tissue is felt to relax under the needle, which is then removed. Trigger point needling often produces an effect much more quickly, and therefore, does not require the 20–30-minute treatment time.