The Origins of Acupuncture
The origins of acupuncture are a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), an ancient system of medicines that dates back at least as far as 1000 BC. It is used all over the world to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as spinal (headaches neck and back pain), upper limb disorders (frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, tendinosis – tennis and golfer elbow), lower limb knee, foot and ankle, chronic pain.
What are the Effects of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is used for its analgesic effects (ability to reduce pain), it also actively improves rates of healing and recovery therefore enhancing treatment outcomes for patients. Evidence based research to support this is continuing to grow confirming the positive effects of acupuncture.
Our bodies naturally produce pain relieving chemicals such as Endorphins, Melatonin and Serotonin. These chemicals are produced when acupuncture needles stimulate various physiological mechanisms in the central nervous system.
Acupuncture has been proven to speed up then initial inflammatory response to promote secondary healing responses in injury i.e. ligament sprains and muscle tears.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is a safe treatment when administered by a competent clinician.
A recent study by Xu et al (2013) that investigated over 3 million acupuncture treatments stated that safety among regulated, qualified practitioners confirmed serious adverse events following acupuncture are uncommon.
The clinicians at Taylored-fit Physio have a combined experience of 33 years and have membership of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP).
What Should I Expect at My First Appointment?
When you hear the word acupuncture, what’s the first thought that comes to mind?
If the answer is “needles” you’re not alone. It is common for people to associate acupuncture treatment with supposedly scary, pointy painful instrument used to perform the practice. Modern day research has been linking this ancient practice to some serious health benefits.
The first appointment begins by talking about your presenting condition/injury in some detail by answering questions I.E How long have you had your condition/injury? It’s behaviour? Is this affecting you on a day to day basis? Past medical history. These questions help the clinician to understand the nature of your condition/injury, enabling the formulation of a tailored treatment plan for you.
This initial assessment may take 45 minutes. Subsequent appointments usually take 30 minutes. A common treatment plan for a single complaint can typically involve 1-2 sessions per week. Number of treatments will depend on the condition being treated and it’s severity, but six to eight treatments are common.
Acupuncture points are in all areas of the body. The acupuncture practitioner will tell you the areas of planned treatment and if you need to remove any clothing. If appropriate, a towel or sheet will be provided to preserve your modesty. You will lie on a padded treatment couch, treatment will involve
Needle insertion- Acupunture needles are very thin, so usually cause no discomfort.
Between 5 -20 needles can be used in a typical treatment. You may experience mild aching during the treatment.
Needle Manipulation- this involves gently moving the needles after placement.
Needle Removal – in most treatments the needles remain in place for 20 -30 mins while you lay still and relaxed. There is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.
Post Acupuncture Treatment – most patients feel relaxed post treatment and usually have a very deep sleep that night and wake feeling energised.
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