Acupuncture – All you need to know?
What Is Acupuncture Used For?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine stainless steel needles into the skin. It has been used in China for over 2,000 years and increasingly in Western medicine since the 1970s. Fine needles are inserted into particular areas of the body, for therapeutic or preventative purposes.
Acupuncture is commonly used to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions. These can include symptoms including, headaches, lower back pain, joint pain and stress.
How does it work?
Western medical acupuncture involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body. This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It's likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture.
Needles are inserted through the skin either at the sites where you feel pain, away from the pain or a combination of both. Based upon the initial assessment of the cause, a number of needles may be used at each treatment. Typically needles are left in position for around 20-30 minutes before being removed.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe procedure, but must be provided by qualified and certified acupuncture specialists.
Acupuncture needles are the same width as human hair and are much smaller than needles used for medical injections. The needles used are always sterile and disposed of safely after one use.
Choosing a qualified practitioner
If you are considering, or have been recommended acupuncture, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced professional.
-Search for a qualified practitioner on the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP)
-Search for reviews and comments online
-Once you choose your practitioner, speak to them and ask what the treatment will be and how it will affect you.