It derives from Chinese medicine where it has been used for thousands of years and has been increasingly popular in Western medicine since the 1970s.
Western medical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture after a proper medical diagnosis and is based on scientific evidence. It is used to treat a wide range of conditions and to reduce pain and inflammation, as recommended in some NICE guideline such as the guidelines for the management of low back pain.
Acupuncture is often used alongside other Physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, manual therapy and relaxation techniques.
How does it Work?
Acupuncture stimulates nerves under the skin and in muscle tissues to block pain signals and helps to reduce the sensitivity of tender areas. The insertion of very fine needles into muscles stimulates the body to produce endorphins and oxytocin – which are our body’s natural pain and healing chemicals. It may promote sleep and well-being by stimulating other chemicals called melatonin and serotonin.
Common Conditions Treated
- Low back pain
- Neck pain / whiplash
- Tension type headaches
- Muscle, tendon, joint injuries
- Muscle tension / Trigger Points
Western medical Acupuncture is a safe treatment when carried out by a qualified practitioner who is regulated by a healthcare professional or a member of a recognised national acupuncture organisation.