What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of treatment that promotes healing. It involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body. It has been used for thousands of years in China and more recently since the 1970’s in Western Medicine.

Physiotherapists use acupuncture to relieve pain for a number of conditions:

  • Back pain and sciatica

  • Muscular and joint pain

  • Migraine and headache

  • Whiplash injury and neck pain

  • Osteoarthritis


What does acupuncture treatment involve?

It will be necessary to complete a thorough assessment and examination of your symptoms in order to establish if acupuncture is an appropriate form of treatment for you. It is therefore important that you give an accurate account of your medical history and any medication that you are taking. The selection of specific points on your body is based on your condition and the presentation of symptoms. These can be inserted close to the painful area or away from it and in some cases on the opposite side of your body. Any medical conditions that would prevent you receiving acupuncture treatment would be identified.


How long will the needles be in for?

Again this will vary according to your condition. More commonly needles are left in place for between 5 and 30 minutes. The initial treatment may be short in order to gauge your response to treatment and subsequent treatments will be based upon this response.


How many treatment sessions will be required?

The number of treatment sessions can vary. Some patients respond quickly while others require a longer course of treatment before the cumulative benefits are felt. Usually those with chronic conditions require more treatment.


How many needles will be used?

Most commonly a treatment will involve the insertion of between 2 to 10 needles.



Is acupuncture painful?

When acupuncture needles are inserted a sharp pricking sensation may be felt which should be temporary and give only mild discomfort.


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is safer than the many of the drug treatments used. However, any procedure that involves inserting needles into the body has some potential problems but these remain minimal. Needles used are therefore single-use, sterile and disposable.


Are there any side-effects?

Some minor side effects may be experienced during or after treatment, but these are rare. They are as follows:

  • Bruising or local bleeding

  • Local soreness

  • Fatigue

  • Light headedness/fainting

  • Allergy to the needles


How does acupuncture work and is it effective?

Currently, there is not one scientific explanation that explains the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. This is because there are a number of therapeutic effects and it will very much depend on the condition being treated. It is proposed that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system through the release of special chemicals in the body which can help to alleviate pain and reduce the perception of pain. There is robust evidence supporting acupuncture as an effective pain relief option. It does not necessarily benefit all patients, but frequently, good results are achieved when more conventional treatment has failed.


Call us on 07739 423163 to book an appointment, or for further information on acupuncture treatment.