Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed by the Chinese. It has been practiced in China for thousands of years.
It was first brought into Europe in the 17th Century. Acupuncture in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of diagnosis and treatment enabling a free flow of energy or Qi (Chi) throughout the body. Needles are used to stimulate the body’s Qi - to maintain this balance and flow.
Western Medical Acupuncture
Western medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality involving the insertion of the same fine acupuncture needles. It is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture, but using our current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine. While Western medical acupuncture has evolved from Chinese acupuncture, its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of Qi. They regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete ‘‘alternative medical system’’.
Western medical acupuncture acts mainly by stimulating the nervous system. Its known modes of action include local antidromic axon reflexes; segmental and extrasegmental neuromodulation; and other central nervous system effects. Western medical acupuncture is principally used by conventional healthcare practitioners, most commonly in primary care. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain.
Does it Hurt?
Generally not, many patients feel relaxed during and after treatment, although some points can give a slight discomfort. At the Broomhill Clinic we use what we consider are the finest needles available for acupuncture today. Because there is no hole down the length of the needle, this enables the needle to be much finer than a “normal” medical needle.
What can it Treat?
There is evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in a wide variety of conditions: back pain, neck pain, headaches, arthritic conditions, sports injuries, stress, anxiety, gastrointestinal and gynaecological problems.
What does Treatment Entail?
During the first consultation a full medical history is taken followed by an examination using conventional medical and osteopathic assessment. Treatment uses fine needles inserted shallowly into the skin or specific areas of muscle. The position of these needles will depend on the condition being treated. The needles may be inserted for only a few seconds, or can be left in for up to around twenty minutes.
Treatment often produces rapid improvement, but in most cases may take a few treatments. Many patients use Acupuncture as a preventative measure after resolution of their symptoms, coming 3 or 4 times a year to maintain full health.
Who can have Acupuncture?
Anyone can have Acupuncture, regardless of age, and treatment can be used in conjunction with Western drug therapy.
However, there are some circumstances when some types of acupuncture may not be used. These include:
- If a patient is vulnerable to infection. Risk factors for infection are:
o Valvular heart disease
o Immunosuppression – either drug-induced, or secondary to a medical condition
- If a patient has a tendency to excessive bleeding.
However, if a patient is on well-managed anticoagulant therapy, they may still be able to have acupuncture, as long as the needling is not near major blood vessels or near joint spaces
- If a patient has a cardiac pace-maker, then electro-acupuncture is avoided in certain areas
- If the patient is too anxious about receiving acupuncture treatment
Is it Safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe form of treatment. It does not tend to give any side effects, and the Clinic always uses 'single-use' pre-sterilised needles, which are disposed of after each treatment. Research shows that the risk of serious events occurring with acupuncture is very low, below that of many common medical treatments.
Monday to Friday
8:45am to 5.45pm
The title 'osteopath' is protected by law. It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC, which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety. Anne and Catherine are both listed on the on the GOsC Register.