Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine sterilised needles into the skin at locations in the body known as acupuncture points. These points lie throughout the body and a number of biomedical studies have shown that Acupuncture treatment can stimulate nerve impulses, influence levels of hormones and neurotransmitters in the body as well as change the body's perception of pain in order to help with a range of health issues.
Acupuncture is one of the most widely practiced complementary medical treatments in the UK. It is offered by traditional acupuncturists as well as GPs, physiotherapists, midwives and nurses.
What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncture often involves the insertion of needles in the abdomen, the forearms and the lower legs. Before your treatment, we will ask you to remove any clothing covering the areas that need to be used. It is therefore best to wear loose clothing that can be easily pulled up or removed. We will usually use between 5 and 10 acupuncture points, depending on your personal needs and the condition being treated.
Acupuncture needles are very fine, about the thickness of a strand of hair, and are solid rather than hollow. When the needles are inserted, patients often describe a sensation of tingling, heaviness or dull ache shortly afterwards. You will then be asked to relax whilst the needles are retained for 20-30 minutes.
Who can use acupuncture?
In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a consensus statement that supported the use of Acupuncture for a wide range of conditions. Acupuncture is particularly well documented in the treatment of:
- Headache and migraines
- Painful conditions such as lower back pain, sports injuries and arthritic or rheumatic joint pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Smoking, drug and alcohol addictions
- Respiratory and allergic conditions such as asthma, hayfever and sinusitis
- Gynaecological conditions such as painful periods, irregular periods and infertility
- Neurological conditions such as Bell's Palsy