Doctor putting acupuncture needles in tateint's stomach.

Acupuncture is effective in a wide range of painful conditions and is commonly used to treat musculoskeletal pain e.g. back, shoulder, neck and leg pain. It has also been successfully used to treat headaches, migraines, trapped nerves, chronic muscle strains and various kinds of rheumatic and arthritic pain.

How does it work?

Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. We know that it increases the body’s release of natural painkillers – endorphin and serotonin – in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received.

But acupuncture does much more than reduce pain, and has a beneficial effect on health. Patients often notice an improved sense of wellbeing after treatment.

Modern research shows that acupuncture can affect most of the body’s systems – the nervous system, muscle tone, hormone outputs, circulation, antibody production and allergic responses, as well as the respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems.

What is involved in having acupuncture?

Every patient will be assessed by a Chartered Physiotherapist and a specific medical diagnosis will be given. Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into various points in the body depending on the condition being treated. This is usually painless. The duration of treatment depends on the nature of the problem. Occasionally manual or low voltage electrical stimulation is applied to assist the process. The number of needles varies but may only be two or three. Acupuncture may be used in conjunction with other treatment techniques such as manual therapy and therapeutic exercise.