The western medical acupuncture that I practise has evolved from the practice of Chinese medical acupuncture and involves the therapeutic insertion of fine needles for brief periods of time, according to evidence based practice and clinical knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and pathology.
It is used alongside other treatments to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain, and to aid rehabilitation of injuries to muscles, tendons or ligaments. Systematic reviews indicate it may be highly beneficial in the management of low back pain, tension headaches and knee pain. It may be felt by the client to be a very relaxing experience.
The number of needles varies but may be only two or three. Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in the skin and muscles leading to a variety of effects. We know that it increases the release of natural painkillers in your body (endorphins and serotonin) which can alter pain perception and the way the brain and central nervous system interprets pain signals from affected tissues, with a natural analgesic affect. This can be particularly beneficial for areas that are particularly sensitive to pain, common in chronic pain conditions.
I also use medical acupuncture as a treatment for the musculoskeletal manifestations of pain, presenting as ‘trigger points’. This is when a needle is inserted to a tight or tender point or “knot” in a muscle to alleviate pain. A needle can be gently be inserted into specific areas that are thought to be causing the pain. This may be locally, or away from the sight of injury if it is thought that pain is being referred from structures elsewhere. Gentle movement of the needle will occur during the treatment in order to achieve the desired response to alleviate the painful area. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this treatment further.