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What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine-based approach to treating a range of conditions through stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles. The body reacts to this by producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. The substances released are responsible for the beneficial effects that are associated with acupuncture.
Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, known as ‘Qi’ flows through the body channels called meridians. Therefore, the traditional Chinese medicine approach is that when the needles are inserted to the body, the clients energy is balanced, this is completed through the harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of “yin” and “yang”. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations is said to bring the energy flow back to proper balance.
Acupuncture is a minimally invasive method to stimulate the nerves in areas of the surface of the skin in order to influence tissues, gland, organs and various functions of the body. Each needle that is inserted produces a small injury at the insertion site which alerts the body to its need to respond. This therefore stimulates the immune system, promoting circulation to the area, wound healing and pain modulation.
What can Acupuncture be used for?
Acupuncture is used for a wide variety of conditions such as:
- Chronic pain (e.g. low back pain)
- Headaches and migraines
- MSK conditions (including joint pain, tennis elbow)
- Menstrual pain
Dry needling uses acupuncture needles to relax muscle knots or release myofascial trigger points. It is a clean and safe technique that can alleviate myofascial pain, muscle tightness and headaches.
A needle is inserted into a tight band of muscle which can cause brief localised discomfort with minimal side effects but is immediately effective.
It works by changing the way the body senses the pain and deactivates trigger points (knots). It does this by mechanically disrupting the dysfunctional activity and stimulating healing deep within the muscle.
Commonly asked Questions
Acupuncture is relatively painless so don't worry, you should not experience any significant pain.
The needles used are very fine and are no more than a few millimetres to a few centimetres in length. The needles are all single use and sterilised, and the needles will all be disposed of in the yellow sharps bin immediately after use.
The initial appointment will typically involve an assessment of your general health and medical history, followed by the insertion of needles.
Based on your symptoms and conditions, specific acupuncture points will be chosen. Several points will be used throughout a single session. After the needle has been inserted, there is occasionally a dull ache at the base of the needle that then subsides. Acupuncture is relatively painless.
The needles will be inserted either just under the skin or deeper to enable them to reach the muscle. Once the needle is in place, they will be left in position for a period of time, ranging from a few minutes up to 30 minutes. You should not experience any significant pain.
The number of treatment sessions required will depend on the individual and their symptoms.
Although uncommon, some people may experience some mild, short-term side effects such as:
- Pain where the needles puncture the skin
- Bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin
- Worsening of pre-existing symptoms
Some risks include:
- Potential of the needle breaking when it has entered the skin
- Potential of pneumothorax or lung injury if the needle is inserted deeply into the chest or upper back, this is very uncommon.
It is important to inform us beforehand if you have a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia, or are taking anticoagulant medication. Acupuncture is generally not recommended if you have a metal allergy or an infection in the area where needles may be inserted. Please also inform us if you are, or may be pregnant, acupuncture is generally safe when you are pregnant but there are certain acupoints that cannot be used safely during pregnancy.
Initial consultation (with treatment) (45 minutes) – £45
Follow up treatment (30 minutes) – £35
Package of initial consultation plus 3 follow up treatment sessions – £130