What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine and has been practised for over 3000 years to improve patients' mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. The practice involves inserting single use hair-fine needles into specific acupuncture points. There are over 2000 acupuncture points in Traditional Chinese Medicine that are connected by 12 meridians that can be stimulated to influence organs, glands, tissues and other bodily functions.
How can acupuncture benefit me?
The fundamental belief of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is that illness and ailments are caused by Qi (pronounced chee) being blocked or interrupted in the body. It is believed that Qi is our life force energy that supports our bodily functions, and acupuncture aims to remove these blockages and restore balance. Practitioners use acupuncture to help with a range of conditions and symptoms that affect your overall wellbeing.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Some needles may pinch, but if they hurt, then the needle hasn’t been placed in the exact point location. Most patients report feeling relaxed during their treatments. Most people will experience what we call in acupuncture as a DeQi sensation, this is your Qi being aware of the needle, this feels like a very mild dull ache, tingling, numbness, hot or cold. These sensations tend to last a few minutes and fade off.
Occasionally a needle may cause a tiny little speck of blood to come to the surface, or a tiny bruise, but these will quickly fade within a day or so. After your session you may feel a little tired and occasionally some people get a mild headache, these reactions just highlight that your body is healing and it needs some good rest, nutrition and lots of water to help it do the healing we have asked it to do.
What can acupuncture help with?
Practitioners can use Chinese acupuncture to help with a range of conditions and symptoms that affect your overall wellbeing. A growing body of evidence-based research has demonstrated how acupuncture can effectively work in isolation or as a complementary treatment alongside other medicine.
As acupuncture can help you in general feel better many people use acupuncture as coping strategy against long term conditions that are also being treated with allopathic medicines/therapies.
The NHS (NICE) currently state that acupuncture shows strong evidence of efficacy in the treatment of Chronic tension type headaches and migraines. They also include that there is potential benefit (limited clarity of evidence) when using acupuncture in the treating of the following conditions –
• chronic pain, such as neck pain
• joint pain
• dental pain
• postoperative pain
Advertising Guidelines (ASA) permit acupuncturists to say that acupuncture can have some short term positive effects on the following conditions –
• Overactive bladder syndrome
• Tension type headaches
• Migraine headache
• Chronic low back pain
• Neck pain or chronic neck pain
• Temporomandibular (TMD/TMJ) pain
• Adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain
With many conditions, it is vital that you seek out advice from your GP before getting treatment with any complementary therapist.
You will never have a guaranteed response from a course of acupuncture, even when the evidence base is strong for your condition, the best way to know if acupuncture will work for you is for you to try some sessions. At Tonic Acupuncture, your acupuncturist will most certainly advise you if we felt your condition wouldn’t respond, or if we felt a different type of therapy would be more suitable to your health needs.
As many of the government bases of evidence for acupuncture are out of date or, not fit for purpose, the above conditions are very limited. This is despite many acupuncture researchers producing excellent summaries and submitting them for review to NICE and ASA. If you would like more recent evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture, please visit Evidence Based Acupuncture for some very detailed acupuncture study reviews.
Get in touch today
If you would like to find out more about how acupuncture at Tonic Acupuncture in Longridge near Preston could benefit your health and overall wellbeing, please get in touch with us today on email email@example.com. To book an appointment, please visit our Longridge Clinic booking page.