What is Western Medical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years, but has only recently started to become integrated into Western medicine. Western medical acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin, single use, pre-sterilised needles into the skin at certain points in the body. The locations of the points used are based on a thorough clinical assessment and a number of needles can be used during each treatment, with a typical treatment normally lasting between 20-30 minutes.

Trigger point acupuncture is also used to help relax specific muscles following trauma and to help increase muscle length, assisting stretch and rehabilitation. Trigger point acupuncture can often produce an effect more quickly and so treatment time can be less.

Acupuncture maybe used as a standalone treatment or alongside other physiotherapy techniques. Written consent is required before your first acupuncture treatment and your therapist will ask you specific medical health questions to ensure treatment is appropriate.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Acupuncture forms part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This ancient system of medicine dates back as far as 1000 years BC and is based on a holistic concept of treatment which regards ill health as a manifestation of imbalance in the body’s energy. Re-establishing a correct balance is the aim of TCM.  Energy is referred to as Qi, (pronounced chee) and is described in terms of Yin energy – quiet and calm and Yang energy –vigorous and exciting. They are complementary opposites and in health exist in a dynamic but balanced state in the body. Practitioners of TCM believe that stimulating certain acupuncture points on the body can help to restore the balance between Yin and Yang that becomes disturbed in illness.

Does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture doesn’t work for everyone, or for every condition. Your physiotherapist is trained to combine the principles of traditional Chinese acupuncture with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting healing, always with the aim of enhancing physiotherapy treatments such as exercise and rehabilitation techniques. Acupuncture is known to increase the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, in the spinal cord and brain and this inhibits pain.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture is not pain free. However the needles are very thin and do not hurt the same way as an injection. Your physiotherapist may gently twist the needles in order to stimulate them and this can cause a feeling of heaviness, soreness or heat known as ‘De Qi’.

Acupuncture is recommended by the National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of low back pain and tension-type headaches.

Professional standards and safety

All physiotherapists carrying out acupuncture in Spire Cardiff Hospital are qualified physiotherapists and are trained the standards set by the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP).

For further information or to book an initial assessment call us on 029 2073 1112.

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 Physiotherapists offering acupuncture

To arrange your initial assessment call us on 029 2073 1112 

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)