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A Treatment Used For Over 3,000 Years...


Acupuncture is one of the oldest recorded forms of medicine having been used in China for over 3,000 years. Traditional Chinese belief is that energy flows freely throughout the body, via channels known as meridians. When there is a problem the energy stagnates. Modern science has shown that the use of fine needles inserted into specific points stimulates the brain to release natural pain relieving chemicals (endorphin and serotonin) into the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. These help to restore the healthy flow of energy in the body, assisting in the healing processes needed to restore normal function to an injured area as well as giving pain relief by modifying the way pain signals are received, and improving the functioning of the internal organs. There are over 500 acupuncture points on the body. These points are places on your body that are thought to affect the way that your organs and tissues function.

What Does Acupuncture Involve?..

The initial consultation will include questioning, observation and examination. The practitioner is looking for a pattern into which is woven a total picture of the patient’s health. Treatment will consist of the insertion of fine needles. These are sterile and disposable, ensuring strict hygiene practice. The needle insertion may feel like a mild pinprick and should only give temporary discomfort. You may feel a tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but it should not be painful. Acupuncture needles are often inserted into trigger points (tight sensitive areas in the muscles) to relieve pain and restore movement. The number of needles used will vary and may be left in place for up to 20 minutes or more. The frequency and length of treatment required depends upon the nature of the condition, the length of time the patient has suffered from the condition, and their general state of health. Treatment might be once a week to begin with, then at longer intervals as the condition responds. It can sometimes take several treatments to produce a noticeable benefit. A typical course of treatment lasts 5 to 8 sessions. The practitioner will assess each patient's case and treatment will be tailored to the individual.

What Are The Benefits Of Acupuncture?..

The benefits of acupuncture are numerous and may include some or all of the following: - pain relief, reduced muscle spasm, anti-inflammatory effect, improved sleep pattern, improved general well-being and increased energy levels. It is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain e.g. back, neck, shoulder, knee, trapped nerves, muscle strains, sports injuries, headaches, migraines and various types of arthritic and rheumatic pain. But acupuncture does much more than reduce pain. It has a beneficial effect on general health. Research shows that acupuncture can affect most of the body's systems - digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive and nervous system, muscle tone, hormone output, circulation, antibody production and allergic responses.

Why have acupuncture with a physiotherapist?

Chartered physiotherapists are in a unique position of being able to use acupuncture on its own or in combination with other treatment methods such as manual therapy, massage, electrotherapy and exercise. This combined approach is more likely to lead to successful rehabilitation and is now widely accepted within the NHS and private practice. The Whitstable Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic have Chartered Physiotherapists who are qualified to practice acupuncture to complement their established manual therapy skills. They are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) to ensure they meet the high standards of skills needed to use acupuncture safely and effectively.