Acupuncture is an ancient form of treatment in China, part of Traditional Chinese Medicine first recorded date back as far as 500 BC. It has been accepted in to western medicine in late 1900’s. The medicine evolved on a belief that body contains channels, knows as meridians, which circulate vital energy and join a series of acupuncture points. The energy, known as QI, travels through these channels. There are 14 meridians in total and each meridian is associated with particular organ or organ system, and is liked to either yin or yang energy.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for the treatment and care of patients.
What can acupuncture be used for?
The acupuncture following detailed assessment ban be used to help with:
- Musculoskeletal Pain (Low back pain, arthritis, cervical spondylosis, sciatica, joint pains, TMJ pain, intercostal neuralgia, Frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and plantar fasciitis)
- Reducing inflammation
- Headaches (Migraine, tension, cluster, cervicogenic (neck pain causing headaches), trigeminal neuralgia and sinusitis)
- Other medical conditions including respiratory conditions, allergies, anxiety and gastrointestinal disorders.
There are few absolute contraindications to acupuncture and several areas of caution:
- Allergy to metal
- Needle phobia
- Patient on anti-coagulant medication (certain points avoided)
- Unstable Diabetes
- Potential hazards of needling may include:
- Bleeding (usually only mild spotting if it occurs)
- Bruising (only mildly if it occurs)
- Temporary aggravation of symptoms
- Dizziness (usually temporary)
- Fatigue (following treatment but only temporary)
- What should i expect?
The treating therapist will conduct detailed assessment including physical examination and discusses treatment options including whether acupuncture is an appropriate management choice.
It is important for you to understand the process of acupuncture as it may not have an instantaneous effect, particularly if your condition is chronic in nature. We would carry out 3-4 sessions of acupuncture to alleviate your symptoms. If your symptoms improved, the sessions can be continued.
Your treating therapist will establish that no contraindications/areas of caution exist; consent will be obtained (verbal and written). Treatment may be performed with the client in lying or supported sitting, depending on the body area to be needled. The needles will be manually stimulated to add or remove energy from the point, depending on the intended outcome of treatment. If at any point during the session, you wish to discontinue treatment, simply inform your therapist and the needles can be removed immediately.
At the end of the treatment, the needles will be carefully removed and disposed of immediately in to a clinical waste sharps bin. Ideally, we recommend you rest for a short while following acupuncture treatment, to optimise the effects of the endorphin release. You may feel sleepy after the treatment, and many client report a sense of relaxation following acupuncture.
Response to treatment can be varied. Every client is different and will be re-evaluated at return visit to establish their response to acupuncture.
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