Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to regulate pain mechanisms for effective pain relief. This is achieved by inserting needles, occasionally with an electrical stimulation at precise acupuncture points. The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release our own natural chemicals in the skin, muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.
Medical acupuncture is particularly effective in treating headaches and painful trigger points in muscles and enables access to deeper tissues that may be inaccessible to massage. Acupuncture is also recommended by National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) for low back pain.
Electro acupuncture – electro acupuncture is a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed through a pair of acupuncture needles. The frequency and intensity of the electrical impulse can be adjusted depending on the condition being treated. At all times the patient is in control of the amount of electrical stimulus being given and can stop at any time. Electro acupuncture works particularly well with chronic pain type syndromes and arthritic pain.
What is the difference between traditional (TA) and medical acupuncture (MA)?
Medical acupuncture is based on a modern medical science model whereas traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years and recognises meridians running at precise points throughout the body and ‘qi’ which is thought to run along them. MA can only be practiced by doctors or other primary healthcare professionals who have undertaken postgraduate training with the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS).
Acupuncture can be offered as part of an osteopathy session or as a stand-alone treatment.